On Sept. 30, you couldn't find a Mets fan who didn't think Yoenis Cespedes was the greatest thing since Willie Mays. On Oct. 30, you couldn't find a Mets fan who didn't think Yoenis Cespedes was the worst thing since Wily Mo Pena. His postseason failures don't change his 2015 numbers, of course, but they do change the way we view them, recognizing that, yes, he was bound to cool off because, look, he already did. The Mets were still willing to re-sign him, though, because of the more lasting improvements he made. He stopped selling out for the home run, reducing his fly ball rate while raising his line drive rate, and it allowed him to maximize his talents at age 29. Even prior to his trade to the Mets, he had emerged as an Adam Jones-type hitter, so drafting him among the top 15 outfielders is hardly a stretch.
Now that Yoenis Cespedes has re-signed with the reigning National League Champions one may wonder if he can continue his magical run from the second half of 2015. Cespedes was a monster in the Big Apple last season, posting a .942 OPS that would have ranked third amongst outfielders behind only Bryce Harper and Mike Trout had he maintained it for the entire season. Cespedes set career highs in 2015 in nearly every offensive category and it's likely that they will remain career highs at the end of 2016. Cespedes' high strikeout totals are costly in point leagues and will prevent him from being a top fifteen outfielder moving forward. His power numbers will likely regress to the 25 home run range, leaving you with an outfielder that should be drafted in the fifth round or later.
Cespedes agreed to a three-year contract with the Mets on Friday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Cespedes' deal includes an opt out after just one year, but he will spend at least another season with the team he spurred to a World Series berth in 2015. It remains to be seen exactly where he will hit in the order, but he knocked in runs in bunches for the Mets last season with 44 RBI in 57 games. He will be the team's every day left fielder in 2016.
Cespedes has received an offer from the Washington Nationals, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Wednesday night. It's unclear if the Nationals are willing to go rich enough to sign Cespedes, who was a National League MVP candidate thanks to his absurdly excellent post-trade performance for the division rival Mets last year. Rosenthal says the contract offer is for less than the six years and $132.75 million Justin Upton received from the Tigers, so we'll have to see if he's willing to accept second place in the outfield market this offseason.
The Tigers continue to be mentioned as a suitor for Cespedes, whose "price might be dropping," reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The 30-year-old outfielder hit .291 with 35 home runs and 105 RBI last season between the Tigers and Mets. He was the American League's Gold Glove winner in left field and late in the season indicated he would be interested in returning to Comerica. The Tigers have indicated their big moves are done, but the longer Cespedes is out there, the more the rumors swirl.
The Mets' lukewarm pursuit of Cespedes is now over, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. The Mets' signing of Alejandro De Aza in essence was the final nail in the coffin, as they are now looking for a right-handed hitter as a support component rather than a big ticket item like Cespedes. This news is not a big shock, as the Mets were reportedly only interested if they could Cespedes on a 2-3 year deal, rather than the 5-6 years he is pursuing. Cespedes' market has yet to heat up but the Giants, Angels, Tigers and White Sox have all been linked to him.
Last 7 Games