Mets would prefer to sign Yoenis Cespedes to a short-term deal

Yoenis Cespedes 1 slice


Late in the 2015 season, the Mets and Yoenis Cespedes re-negotiated the part in the star outfielder’s contract to eliminate the clause stating his current team had five days following the World Series to retain him, otherwise he would have to be released, thus disqualifying that team from signing him until the following May 15.

Certainly, that could be interpreted as the Mets not wanting to completely shut the door on re-signing their transformational pickup from the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. But it also means Cespedes and his agents didn’t want to eliminate a team from contending for his services, especially his current team which was ultimately World Series bound this past season.

But Cespedes made it clear at that time he wanted to sign no less than a six-year contract in his first winter as a free agent. As has seemingly been the case with most of his suitors so far this winter, that has deterred the Mets from a pursuit of the now free agent outfielder.

Assistant GM John Ricco has publicly labeled a reunion with Cespedes as “unlikely” given his current demands.

Ideally, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets would like to retain Cespedes on a 2-3 year deal.

Yoenis Cespedes-00202But even as the 30-year-old outfielder’s market has been slow to develop, it seems highly unlikely he would sign for such a deal, regardless of the money offered.

From the player’s perspective, that’s understandable. It’s difficult to hit the open market as a 32 or 33-year-old and achieve the security they seek, thanks to their next deal coming in their post-prime years.

But with the Mets gaining significant additional financial flexibility after Michael Cuddyer announced his retirement, the Mets can’t simply close the door on Cespedes. Despite his flaws and struggles in the postseason (presumably due to a hand and shoulder injury), he’s proven difference maker and a success story in New York. His skill set and ability to carry an offense with his power and production have gone unmatched since the days of Mike Piazza.

The front office knows that.

Certainly, a six-year deal would be concerning for the Mets, or any club for that matter. Cespedes’ game – with his long swing and lack of plate discipline – can be prone to rapid aging in this sport, and paying a player like this upwards of $100 million in his post-prime years is a big gamble to take.

But perhaps the two sides can eventually come to a compromise on a front-loaded deal and an opt-out clause after two or three years. That would give the player an opportunity to test the market if he’s coming off a good run, and the Mets could potentially wash their hands of the contract under the terms they seek while reaping the rewards of a dynamic player in their window of opportunity.

Of course, that’s merely speculation right now, and by far a guarantee from happening.

But if Cespedes’ market doesn’t develop as he originally anticipated it would, perhaps this would be an agreeable arrangement for him.

Cespedes has been connected to the Tigers and Angels so far this off-season.

Cespedes hit .287/.337/.604 with 14 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs and 44 RBI in 57 games with the Mets in 2015. He went 12-for-54 with a double, two home runs and eight RBI in 14 postseason games in 2015.

6 thoughts on “Mets would prefer to sign Yoenis Cespedes to a short-term deal

  1. If you want to find excuses you can. Baron points out that readers should differentiate between NYM position and his own – fair enough – but he doesn’t sufficiently challenge this position. For example. NYM wanted to sign BZ to a 4 yr. 60 mil contract which would expire when he would be 38; Grandy got same length and amount, which will end when he will be 36 . Also in 3 yrs prior to NYM signing as power hitting, CG’s K ratio was 30.5, nearly 50% higher than YC’s. Yes YC’s contract is longer and for more but while these 2 are solid player, YC can carry a team as he has shown and do it on the NY stage.
    This doesn’t mean room for negotiation exists but at a minimum must be for 5 yrs. with significant buy out.


  2. From what I remember Brandon Nimmo was supposed to be the center fielder of the future. He is not 100 at bats into Triple A. How do the Mets see Nimmo as part of the near future at centerfield? Could this be why they are looking at shorter term platoon players for center right now?


  3. It isn’t what the Mets want that matters. It’s what YC wants. Why would he take a short term contract when the benchmark these days is at least 5 for outfielders. Hayward is younger but the market numbers are high and getting higher.
    Is this all a lot of wind for us to think about?
    Still think the fan who said the Mets might try and repeat last years July 31 move and pay a top player big bucks for only two months is worth thinking about. Sandy may be giving us a lot of smoke and mirrors and end up doing nothing. So we may have to look forward to more 1-0 or 2-1 wins or loses. No fun!


  4. Again agree with Alan. In this market someone is going to give YC at least 5 yr and likely 6 yr contract. (Management knows this and thus saying will sign him for short term deal allows them to spin we made an effort). As for deadline moves last yr they were made possible by the fact that Mets were only 3 games out despite a lackluster 52-50 record. Thank you, underachieving Nats. But if NYM was 6 or 7 gms out as they should have been with that record doubt that Alderson would have pushed the envelop. Yes we will see those frustrating low scoring game and the wasting of very good pitching. The only bright side is that the eastern division is weak.


  5. Right again Mel. But what will the East look like. Are the Nats better. Don’t think so. Braves and Phillies are still rebuilding and no threat. Same goes for Miami. Guess it will be Nats and Mets again. Is 52-50 possible? And the Nats? Crapshoot again. So it is possible we could be seven down or seven ahead. Ha- wishful thinking. Result could be a rerun. Will Sandy do like last year? Could be. We will have to just wait until July. Remember that 52-50 included an 11-0 start which won’t happen again.


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