7/6/2014 10:50 P.M. ET
Cespedes to defend Derby title; Donaldson may join
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- It's long been speculated that Yoenis Cespedes would be invited back to the Gillette Home Run Derby to defend his 2013 title. The A's slugger all but confirmed his participation on Sunday, and he may be bringing a friend along, too.
Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson said he's also being considered for the power-hitting event by American League Derby captain Jose Bautista, whose five-man roster will be revealed as part of an official announcement Tuesday.
"We've talked. We talked a little bit over BP the other day," Donaldson said Sunday. "We'll see what happens.
"There are a couple things still getting ironed out. It's not 100 percent for myself. I think Cespy is 100 percent … I think there are just some people who don't want to be in it. I'm not going to reveal those names, but I've hit a couple homers this year, so I think that's what started it."
The Angels' Mike Trout is among those who have publicly declined to partake, and others are on the fence, too. There are a number of reasons hitters are reluctant to join, the popular one being that they believe it could affect their swing. Others simply want to enjoy it from the sidelines.
Donaldson, one of six A's players named to the All-Star team Sunday, not counting Jeff Samardzija, who is technically part of the National League squad, said he's participated in similar home run contests in the past and "would love to do it if I get the opportunity."
"So would I," joked closer Sean Doolittle, a former top-ranked first-base prospect.
"I'll be the guy with Gatorade and towels," fellow All-Star Derek Norris said, smiling.
Donaldson has 19 homers to his name, after compiling 24 last year.
Cespedes has 14. That total is not so overwhelming, but his ability is. The Cuban outfielder put on a memorable show at Citi Field last year, ultimately outperforming Bryce Harper in the final round to claim the crown.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.