Report: Mets to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes for four years, $110M
Bringing back Cespedes was the Mets' top priority this offseason
The Hot Stove had actually been pretty cold so far this offseason and with the winter meetings set for next week, it seemed like it would remain that way. Instead, free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Mets have agreed to stay together, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The reported terms:
Sources: Cespedes deal expected to be four year, $110M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 29, 2016
As always when it comes to these reports, the deal is pending a physical. Rosenthal and others also reports that Cespedes has full no-trade protection which, again, is pretty standard at this juncture.
No two ways about this, it's a huge win for the Mets. Bringing back Cespedes after he opted out of his three-year, $75 million deal was their top priority this offseason.
Cespedes, 31, hit .280/.354/.530 with 25 doubles, 31 homers and 86 RBI last season, his first full campaign in New York. He only managed 132 games due to injury, limiting his HR and RBI totals. Cespedes was also with the Mets down the stretch in 2015 after being traded from the Tigers in front of the deadline. He immediately became a fan favorite as he started off insanely hot and then helped spur the Mets to their first World Series since 2000.
With Cespedes off the market, the top free-agent outfielders are Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, Jose Bautista (though he may need to DH rather soon, if not immediately) and Carlos Gomez. Mark Trumbo needs to be a DH and we could say the same for Carlos Beltran. Past that, we're looking at Michael Saunders, Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus.
As for the Mets, they now seem pretty likely to trade one of their outfielders -- as has been reported throughout the offseason. The options reported are Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto.
Also to be sorted out is the defense. Cespedes really shouldn't be an everyday starter in center and he's good in left. Granderson will be 36 next year and also belongs on a corner. Bruce certainly can't play center. Juan Lagares is a nice option in center, but has been bad offensively the past two years.
Perhaps the Mets just use Lagaras mostly as a defensive replacement to slide Cespedes from a center to a corner late in games regularly.
Regardless, the big news is that the Mets have gotten their top target. That's a great start to any offseason.