Mets expected to make a ‘serious play’ for Yoenis Cespedes this winter
Earlier this week, the Mets and the agents for Yoenis Cespedes cleared a major obstacle for the potential of a new contract between the parties by agreeing to waive the clause in his current contract stating he must be released five days after the World Series ends.
In other words, the Mets are now able to negotiate with Cespedes as an unrestricted free agent this winter.
If anything, the arrangement showed the two parties would at least be interested in a new agreement while also adding a second New York team to bid on Cespedes’ services throughout the winter.
But while Sandy Alderson discounted the club’s interest in a new long-term contract for Cespedes, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said on Friday they are expected to make a serious push towards a new deal this winter.
According to Heyman, the main reason the Mets aren’t expressing interest publicly is to avoid setting the fanbase up for a disappointment, and also don’t want to distract from their play on the field.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen if the Mets are willing to do what it takes to secure Cespedes to a long-term deal, which Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes could be in the $130-175 million range. The contract demands will certainly be high, and if the bidding continues into December, the Mets will unquestionably find themselves in a bidding war to secure the premiere right-handed power hitter on the free agent market.
Heyman warns Cespedes won’t take anything less than the best possible offer. And in addition to the Giants, Rangers, Mariners, Phillies, Angels and Cubs as well as the Tigers could be interested in signing Cespedes this winter.
There is an added incentive to the Mets retaining Cespedes.
If the Mets sign the slugger to a new contract, they would not be required to relinquish their first round selection in the 2016 first-year player draft, something they were forced to do when they signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal last November. Giving up a first round pick in the next draft to sign another impact bat would be counter-intutitive, unless of course the Mets choose to roll the dice with Cuddyer, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares next season.
But it’s clear the kind of impact and difference-making ability Cespedes has brought to the club in only one month. To ignore the possibilities with Cespedes might also be counter-intuitive.
In addition, as Alderson said on Monday in Washington, the Mets cannot receive draft pick compensation if Cespedes departs for another organization, since he was acquired in a mid-season trade.
So in other words, the shoe unquestionably fits from a baseball perspective. Does the shoe fit from a budgetary perspective?
The Mets have to prove their willing to even be in such a game, let alone win that game.