When your manager, captain, and fan base are calling for a player, you do one thing: go after that player at all costs. And that’s just what Sandy Alderson did. Yoenis Cespedes is returning to Queens.
According to multiple reports, the deal is for three years with a player opt-out clause after the first year, worth $75 million in total—the second most per year ever for a position player. Cespedes reportedly received higher, longer offers elsewhere—possibly from the Nationals and White Sox—but gave the Mets a discount because he loved playing in New York so much.
Did the Mets overpay for Cespedes? Sure they did, he’s receiving $27.5 million if/when he opts out after one year. Was it a smart signing? Absolutely, for both sides. Cespedes gets the money he wants and the two insurance years if he doesn’t live up to expectations in 2016, while he gets to re-test a poorer market next offseason if he performs well. The Mets get the advantage of a short-term deal either way, knowing that there’s a good chance that they’re only in it for one year—which will allows Michael Conforto to develop into the slugger the organization thinks he can be. The kicker? Cespedes puts on a show. His bat-flips, his arm—, hell, even the way he strikes out; he simply sells tickets. Fans voiced how unhappy they would be with a Cespedes-less Mets; and the front office listened.
Whether ownership liked it or not, fans would have started a riot outside Citi Field had Cespedes landed with Murphy in D.C.—which was self-evident given their crude comments on the Mets’ social media the past couple days. Cespedes’ bat solidifies the lineup tenfold—there’s a lot less pressure on Duda, Wright, and Conforto with Yoenis smack in the middle of them. To top it off, Terry Collins and David Wright both issued statements in the past several days in favor of Cespedes’ return to the New York Post and New York Daily News, respectively; Wright going as far to say that he would “put his name behind the statement that Yo was a good teammate on the field and a great teammate off the field”.
I’m not sure if I’m happier that he’s a Met or just not a National—but either way, welcome back, Yo. Here’s to a cannon, cigar, bat-flip-filled 2016.