According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Yoenis Cespedes has re-signed with the New York Mets for 4 years and $110 million. The contract also includes a full no-trade clause.
This was a great move by the Mets. Ever since being acquired by the Mets at the 2015 MLB Trading Deadline, Cespedes has raked for the Mets. Cespedes has played 189 games for the Mets, hitting .282 with 48 home runs and 130 RBI’s. Ever since joining the Mets, Cespedes has been a key cog in the lineup. Without him hitting 3rd or 4th in the lineup, the Mets were not the same team so, bringing him back was a no-brainer in my opinion. The contract is not bad either. Cespedes in 31 years old so the contract will expire when he is 34 or 35 years old, depending on if the Mets make the postseason. Not a tremendous fielder, Cespedes will likely not get any better considering his age but, his strong arm and athleticism most likely will stay with him through the length of the contract. Cespedes is best suited playing left field for the Mets, making a potential log jam in the outfield.
Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, and prospect Brandon Nimmo are all corner outfielders on the Mets roster. Nimmo is the most likely of the five that can be slotted in center field but, even if Nimmo moves to center field that still leaves four corner outfielders that should be everyday players.
Conforto looked like a future star during the 2015 season. Getting called up straight from double-A, hitting .270 with 9 homers in 56 games. In 2016, Conforto hit a bump in the road eventually being sent down to triple-A after starting the season on the 25 man roster. The hiccup Conforto experienced last season is not that troubling as it could just be a young player fully adjusting to the major league level. Conforto, Nimmo, and Cespedes seem a part of the Mets future plans so that leaves Granderson and Bruce.
Bruce, acquired during the middle of last season from the Reds, was supposed to be another bat behind Cespedes but struggled in his half a season for the Mets only hitting .219 in 50 games. Granderson, on the other hand, has been with the mets for three years now, signing with them after he spent the 2013 season with that other New York team you may have heard of called the Yankees. “The Grandy Man” has been a solid contributor an clubhouse leader since signing with the Mets.
Both Bruce and Granderson are expected to hit free agency after this season so the Mets seem interested in trading one of them before the season starts. According to some sources, Granderson has been receiving more interest than bruce despite his age and more expensive contract ( $15 million compared to Bruce’s $13 million). Bruce has more value on the trade market, making Granderson a low cost option in terms of prospects and/or players that a team would have to give up. The Mets will have to hold onto one of them if they want to contend again in the 2017 season.
Getting Cespedes back was most likely the number 1 priority for the Mets this offseason but, looking at their roster right now, they are definitely not done yet.