The New York Mets have re-signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110M deal. The deal comes as a bit of a surprise, as the two sides were expected to wait until the Winter Meetings to get a deal done. This signing was the opposite of last winter’s, which was drawn out and featured many teams offering Cespedes large sums of cash. After one-and-a-half seasons with the Mets, the two sides have grown fond of each other and ultimately led the slugger to stay in New York.
The 31-year-old Cuban played 132 games in 2016, slashing .280/.354/.530 with 31 homers and 86 RBI. His performance earned him an all-star selection and a Silver Slugger, and he finished eighth in MVP voting. His work in left field has greatly improved in recent years, but his time spent in center hurt his defensive numbers. His struggles in center may have hurt his overall value, but his ability to play left and his bat are more than enough for the Mets to commit to the star.
The deal keeps Cespedes in New York for four years at $110M and features a full no-trade protection. Last winter he signed a three-year, $75MM deal with a chance to opt out after the 2016 season. His campaign allowed him to do just that, and earn an even larger contract the second time around. Cespedes gains two extra years of guaranteed money, with the $110MM broken down as $22.5MM, $29MM, $29MM, and $29.5MM over the four years.
With Cespedes now committed, the New York Mets will likely move one of their other outfielders. Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Michael Conforto populate the Mets’ outfield along with Cespedes, so expect one of them to be moved this off-season. More likely than not, Bruce will be the one to go after a disappointing half-season with the Mets.
Cespedes was a must sign for the Mets. While they are filled with talent, there are question marks that litter the roster. From the recovering arms in the rotation to the uncertainty of the young bats in the lineup, the Mets were in need of a sure-thing. Yoenis is that sure-thing. He has proven the past five seasons that he can stay healthy and produce at a high level day in and day out. The Mets would not have made it to the World Series in 2015, and they would not have been a Wild Card team in 2016 if it was not for Cespedes. This deal assures them a sure-thing in their lineup for years to come, making it a no-brainer for the Mets’ front office.