How did you find out about the trade?
Cespedes: "I was watching TV. There were just a few minutes left until the trade deadline, so I was keeping track because I knew a trade was in the works. I just kept on watching to see if I was going to get traded. With about nine minutes to go, I saw on the screen that I was traded. Then the manager came in and told me I had been traded."
Were you surprised?
Cespedes: "No. I’ve been preparing for it for about a week. I knew I was on the trade block, particularly because I will be a free agent at the end of the season. I knew anything could happen. I was prepared for it. I knew something would happen, especially after the Tigers traded [David] Price and [Joakim] Soria."
What do you think about the Tigers selling?
Cespedes: "I don’t think that was a very smart move. The team is only three games out of the wild card, and there is still a lot of baseball to be played -- about 60 games. I don’t think it was a good decision to throw in the towel this early. There’s still a lot of baseball to be played. But I know this is a business, and I am sure they know what they’re doing."
How difficult is it being with a fourth team? Is there a sense of rejection?
Cespedes: "It’s the hardest on your family. Latinos play baseball because it’s in our blood. We love baseball. I just love to play. No matter where I go, I will do what I do best, and that is play ball. The most difficult thing is how hard the transition [from team to team] can be on your family."
What do you think about going to the Mets?
Cespedes: "Honestly, I don’t know much about the Mets, given the fact that they are in the National League. But the one thing I can tell you that I do know is how good their pitching is."
Will there be pressure playing in New York City?
Cespedes: "I feel no pressure. I am not going to the Mets to try to do more than I can do or to change the player that I am. I’m going to go out and play my game and have fun, like I've always done. I'm the type of person [that a large media market] like New York does not worry me. They told me the same thing last year when I got to Boston. I am just going to go out there and give it my best. The fact that there will be more media scrutiny does not affect the way I play. It’s just not the kind of person I am."
What's your preferred outfield position?
Cespedes: "When I got to the big leagues I came in as a center fielder, which is the position I played in Cuba. In Oakland I was moved to left field, and I struggled at first to adapt to it, but I'm very used to it by now and I feel very comfortable there. But, even though I haven’t done it regularly in a few years, I know I can play center field. I will play where the Mets need me."
What's your travel itinerary? (He is getting picked up by a car at 8 p.m. Friday and is headed to New York.)
Cespedes: "I spoke with the general manager and he told me that he expects me to be there for the game tomorrow, and that is what I expect of myself, too. What I like to do is play baseball, and I can’t do it anymore [for the Tigers], but I will be playing for the Mets. I’m ready for tomorrow, and I’m excited about it. And if they put me in the lineup, I'll be there to help my team win."