Now, the Mets need to sign Yoenis Cespedes…

Yoenis Cespedes


Even in the shortest off-season for the Mets in 15 years, it can be long enough for it to take some unexpected twists and turns.

As markets develop, opportunities both arises and collapse. Players become available as fast as they get signed or traded.

But throughout all of these twists and turns, the needs for a team typically remain while the markets get more and more defined and in the case of 2015, overvalued.

The Mets have identified their outfield as a box to check this winter. They’ve been very open about attempting to find a left-handed complement to Juan Lagares to form a platoon, or simply finding a replacement altogether.

But on Friday, the Mets got one of those off-season twists. They drew a badly needed ace to give them the flush they needed at this winter’s poker table.

Yoenis Cespedes-00208Michael Cuddyer retired, and the Mets will be able to recoup a large portion of the $12.5 million owed to the 36-year-old outfielder in the final year of his contract.

The Mets have already signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a lucrative deal, have traded Jon Niese and his $9 million contract for Neil Walker and his projected $9-11 million contract.

The Mets infield is deeper, more versatile, and has more power, all at a cost of $11-12 million, at worst.

But Cuddyer’s salary can now be subtracted. Ok, let’s add a $2.5 million parting gift or injury compensation fee, and their committed payroll is $94 million for 2016 on the high end, with their entire infield addressed from top to bottom.

Indeed, the Mets drew that ace with Cuddyer’s retirement. They now have a royal flush. They’re ready to collapse the table.

And when that hand has been attained, the opportunity to win cannot be surrendered at all costs.

In other words, the Mets are in position to sign Yoenis Cespedes.

And sign him they should.

Now, the Mets should remain prudent in their approach with Cespedes, especially as his market is only now going to become defined. He has been open about wanting a six-year deal, and the Mets – as should most teams – should be hesitant to offer a 30-year-old such a contract in an inflated free agent market.

But when a team stumbles upon a treasure chest, it would be foolish to leave it for someone else to find.

The Mets should now be in the Cespedes sweepstakes.

Yes, Cespedes comes with some issues. His age can be problematic for a long-term deal. He would be asked to play center field here, at least until Curtis Granderson is a free agent after the 2017 season, and while he’s good there, his value defensively is not maximized there.

Yoenis CespedesHe is also anything but the kind of player the Mets covet with his free swinging, impatient approach to hitting. He can be just as frustrating with his wild swinging at pitches out of the zone as he can be exciting with his mega-power to all fields, and his 30+ home run potential.

He is also coming off the best season of his career at a time when free agent prices are going through the roof. And what he did for the Mets in August and September by hitting 17 home runs in 57 games to carry the Mets into the playoffs was as memorable as it was unlikely to happen again.

The Mets also need to invest resources into their bullpen, and retain Bartolo Colon or find a comparable starting pitcher willing to go to the bullpen in the second half.

But there is no question Cespedes is a game changer and a star, and the star the Mets need to restore to their pursuit of a World Championship in 2016. Even if Cespedes is 80 percent of what he was in 2015 next season, the Mets are in a far better place.

And they know Cespedes’ star can shine in New York, and they know he would love to stay here as well.

“We wouldn’t have gotten to the World Series without Cespedes,” Sandy Alderson said in early November.

They have the ace card to get it done. And like every poker player who pulls the most elusive hand in the game, it’s time to use that card.

Especially if the Mets are sensing this is their opportunity to win it all.

17 thoughts on “Now, the Mets need to sign Yoenis Cespedes…

  1. Regardless of Cuddyer’s retirement, many say Cespedes is inconsistent and and off the field. No way he’s worth what he thinks he is.


  2. No… Player like him will be killed by Met fans when he goes in a slump and they get sick of him swinging at garbage that the catcher can’t even catch and fail to run to first on strike 3. Or not run out a grounder. New York fans have this crazy idea that players work hard for their pay. He won’t


    • You said it all. He refuses to walk. Has no clue of the strike zone and as KC showed there is no reason to throw him a strike. Walking back to the dugout on a wild pitch that he strikes out shows what kind of player he is. Just don’t understand what Mr. Baron sees that Met Fans don’t. As his team history has shown he will be playing for several more during his career.


  3. It’s funny how some Mets fans forget what this team offensive struggles looked like before his arrival. IMO, his presence more than anything else, changed that. Yes, we have great pitching, but we need his big bat in the lineup. I will admit, his 5 games in the WS was not good, but let’s not forget, he wasn’t the only one who struggled during that series. People, it was a bad 5 games, but from early August till the WS, he was more than what we could’ve dreamed of. His presence in the lineup allowed the other players to succeed. So yes, I say sign Cespedes, along with flair(hotdogging), I can accept that especially if he’s producing anywhere near what he did for US last year.


    • Sorry but CESPEDES wasn’t great from August to the WS. He had a great August when he first came over to a new league….and the pitchers kept on throwing him off speed pitches, which he was sitting on….But in September and October, the pitchers figured out hid weak spots and he didn’t hit very good at all in September and October….


  4. Cespedes definitely has flaws and he did underperform in the World Series, but as its been pointed out, there were at least a half dozen other Mets who did the same in the WS in hitting and fielding/throwing. We also really don’t know how much the injury incurred in the last game of the NLCS lingered in the WS. I would bet more than we actually were told. The Mets need this big bat in their lineup to lengthen it and he has proven that he can carry the team. If not signing Cespedes, what is the big-bat alternative? He is the best center fielder on the market. Trading away more pitching for Cargo who hits the majority of this home runs at Coors field is foolhardy. The Mets have a short window of keeping all these incredible pitchers at a cheap price so now is the time to make this investment. That being said, I wouldn’t give him more than 4 years.


  5. Very bluntly, Cespedes was the “straw that stirred the drink” that carried the Mets to its first WS in 15 yrs. If opposition to YC is because he had poor WS so did many other star players (see Ted Williams). If you oppose because he is far from Charlie Hustle, then you wouldn’t sign Bryce Harper because he doesn’t run out all grounders. If you don’t like YC because he chases too many bad pitchers, his strikeout to plate appearance ratio (20.86) was similar to Harper (20.03); lower than Mike Trout (23.16 and even worse in 2014- 26.04) or Justin Upton (25.6 and 26.7 in 2015). For those who want JU over YC keep in mind that in three of the last four yrs YC’s WAR scores were higher than JU, but more revealing if YC performs at the 80% level that would satisfy Baron, he would have have more doubles, HRs, RBIs and total bases that JU had last yr. Also to get the facts straight, YC in September had a 301/342/689 slash line.

    With YC the Mets are a serious pennant and WS contender given their pitching; without him they would need everything to go right for them to be a playoff team.


    • Where do you get monthly numbers….as I looked but I didn’t find any monthly breakdown….Also what were Cepedes homer numbers in each month…namely….Aug, Sept, Oct….Also it wasnt just the WS. His numbers weren’t great against any playoff teams…with the better pitching….Dodgers, Cubs, Royals….


  6. Everyone makes good arguments. Time is running out. Now that Heywards gone the market will pick up the pace. Choices are narrowing now to JU, Gordon and YC. With Cuddyers retirement and Colon coming cheaper the Mets are plus dollars. Let’s also not forget the plus 400,000 attendance income. The money is there and the choices are limited. Sip it comes down to YC and JU. Mets have to take their pick and hope for the best or just fool us into thinking they have an interest and we end up back to square one.


  7. YC numbers can be found under Mets statistics on ESPN. He had 9 HRs and 21 RBIs in September. While postseason performance not as good as regular season this quite common for most performers as they now face better pitching and the 3 NYM faced were among the best of the best. As for YC in postseason, he still slugged 471 in the 9 games and scored 6 runs and drove in 7.

    As for AG, JU and YC, the first two will cost a draft pick. I like Gordon but doesn’t play CF, and JU has more flaws than YC.

    When all said and done would be very surprised if NYM get YC or other two players


  8. I would offer Cespedes two options:
    1 year $30 million
    2 years $55 million
    to play RF. Grandy and Lagares platoon in CF.

    Cespedes is a prototypical RF. Grandy has way more experience in CF and is willing to dive for balls, unlike Cespedes.


  9. Baseball gods might make these offers but seriously doubt that NYM would and while I can see YC accepting the first if nothing else really good comes, not the second because would leave him in limbo state. What I find curious is that Mets offered a 35 yr old Zobrist a 4 yr, 15 mil. contract but are reluctant to give a 30 yr old YC a 5 or 6 yr. deal in the 20mil. range.


    • Well Zobrist has played 10 major league years and is just supposed to be a valuable piece on the team but CESPEDES who only has 4 major league years and only 1 truly great year, will be expected to be the power and to carry the team with an expected 5/100 + contract. Which like Mets are seeing with Wright is a lot of years to watch a player hoping he will produce years, for years into the future.


  10. Still don’t think the Mets will sign YC. Are we looking at a smoke screen and platoon CF with existing players. Look at all the money they will save!


  11. Agree with Alan, that we wouldn’t get YC but will get much spin even though Mets management never had any intention of signing him. For Alderson he was the last resort, behind even Jay Bruce (ugh) and I suspect that even if YC was willing to take 90 mil for 4 yrs, the Mets wouldn’t pay it.


  12. Agree once more. We fans are on the outside making all our wishes, but mostly acting like New Yorkers. This is the longest list of responses I can remember, there are more complaints and negatives. So, good luck in the real world where we may not be getting the true story from the Mets. Long history of that!


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