Yoenis Cespedes and the Mets agreed to a four-year, $110 million deal, giving him the highest average annual value (AAV) salary for an outfielder in major league history. The deal is contingent on a physical and should be completed by Wednesday.
Reports indicate the 31-year old Cuban outfielder got a full no trade clause, receiving $22.5 million in 2017, followed by $29M, $29M and $29.5M. Only Miguel Cabrera ($31 M) has ever had a higher AAV.
Of course, this was a move the Mets needed to make, but that isn’t what usually happens with this franchise. This is the type of deal the front office never seems to get right, although there has always seemed to be something about Cespedes and the Mets that just seemed right. Ever since he took control of the 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field, Mets fans have been dreaming about having a bat like that they could call their own. Now they have it.
The Mets were banking on the good relationship they have had with Cespedes in the last season and a half and hoping it would give them an advantage, if not financially, then at least with a comfort level. Cespedes loves playing on the big stage and the fans love him right back.
Some of the other suitors, like the Dodgers, Giants and Nationals, might have offered Yo a fifth year, a stipulation the Mets were going to have trouble agreeing to.
Cespedes, who walked away from the $47.5 million left on his remaining 2-year deal, hit 31 home runs and drove in 86 in 2015, but only appeared in 132 games and in most of those games, he was nursing a nagging quad injury.
ALDERSON’S WORK IS NOT DONE
General manager Sandy Alderson might have secured two of his big prizes in Cespedes and second baseman Neil Walker (he agreed to their $17.5M qualifying offer), but now there is a log jam in the outfield. The most logical candidate to be moved would be the disappointing Jay Bruce. The Mets picked up his $13M option as security for not resigning Cespedes, but they could use another right-handed bat now.
And what about the bullpen? If this World Series did anything, it showed teams how they don’t have to save their closer for the last inning if the game needs to be saved in the 7th. The Mets could certainly use another back-end of the bullpen guy to work with Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia.
Paul DiSclafani is a featured author at “A View From the Bench”, an official affiliate of MLB.com. “A View from the Bench” is recognized in the Top 100 of MLB.com/blogs.