Yesterday, Yoenis Cespedes resigned with the New York Mets on a four year $110 million dollar deal, making him one of the biggest dominoes to fall in free agency.
It seemed predestined that Cespedes would sign with the Mets, despite serious interest from the Houston Astros. Even with the abundance of right handed power bats on the market, it was crucial that he return to New York.
Brought over in a deadline deal with the Detroit Tigers in 2015, Cespedes was the spark plug in the order that the Mets lacked, and he carried them to the World Series, where they ultimately lost to the Kansas City Royals. In 2016, Cespedes backed up a great 2015 campaign with a solid year, despite missing some time with an injury. He was named an All-Star for the second time in his career (was removed from the roster due to injury), and recorded his second 30+ home run season in the big leagues while knocking in 86 runs.
The 2016 Mets were decimated with injuries (Cespedes included) up and down the lineup and in the pitching staff, and without Cespedes, this team doesn’t come close to sniffing the National League Wild Card Game.
The deal itself, however, is ideal for both Yo and the Mets.
Cespedes gets his well earned money, which will come in a pretty rate of $27.5 million per year. While that may seem a bit high for a 31 year old slugger, it’s impossible to replace his bat and his arm with another available free agent this winter. Yo seems to love the city of New York, and the best season and a half of his career has come while playing the majority of his games at Citi Field. He’ll still get to be the middle-of-the-order presence he has always been since he came to the States in 2012. Hopefully, with David Wright coming back from injury, along with a potentially full season of Jay Bruce and a bounce back year for Michael Conforto, he’ll actually have some protection in the order that isn’t Curtis Granderson.
With a lineup with good potential from 1-9, and a pitching staff that is among the MLB’s best when fully healthy, the chance at another World Series could have also been enticing for La Potencia.
As for the Mets, they get to keep their best bat right where he belongs; in the middle of their order. The Mets certainly don’t have as big of room for a large payroll, but with so many of their producers being so young, they had the space necessary to give Cespedes what he wanted. Now it’s on him to keep delivering. With Cespedes just turning 31, the deal will expire when he’s 35, which makes it very likely that this is Cespedes’ last big major league contract. The Mets will get the last years of Cespedes’ prime before he either signs for less money in a decreased role, or moves on from the organization.
Last year could certainly be viewed as an aberration, as injuries didn’t allow this team to have a realistic shot of making the World Series for the second straight year. But going off of their 2015 performance, when they were fully healthy, this team has World Series potential and will need all hands on deck operating at full speed to compete with the likes of the Cubs and Giants among others.
The core lineup of Cespedes, Granderson, d’Arnaud (when he can stay on the field) along with the pitching staff of Syndergaard, Harvey (who is looking for a bounce back year), and with Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler coming off the DL, this will a dangerous team from day one until October.
Cover photo via Dynasty Digest