The Mets have agreed to a deal with 31 year old outfielder Yoenes Cespedes for 4 years and 110 million dollars.
Cespedes will receive a full no-trade clause and will make $22.5 million in 2017, $29 million in 2018 and 2019 and $29.5 million in 2020, sources told ESPN’s Adam Rubin and Jerry Crasnick.
It’s the top average annual value ever for an outfielder and ties the top AAV ever for a free-agent position player. It’s the second-highest AAV for any position player behind Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.
Cespedes, 31, hit .280 and led the Mets with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs last season. He had received a three-year, $75 million deal from the Mets last offseason. That agreement gave him the right to opt out after collecting $27.5 million in 2016.
The deal is interesting for several reasons. For one, it’s the highest annual average value ever for an outfielder. As a result, the deal is for only 4 years when many thought Cespedes could get 5 so Cespedes will attempt to re-enter the market at age 35. It was rumored the Astros made a late push for Cespedes including a 5 year offer, but Cespedes choose to sign now instead of dragging on negotiations.
The deal also means the Mets have a surplus of outfield talent, and is expected to attempt to trade some of that talent for bullpen help. Most likely to go is left-handed hitting outfielder Jay Bruce, who has one year and 13 million left on his current contract. Baltimore and Toronto are expected to be early bidders.
The signing is huge for the Mets and fans are understandably excited, however the signing simply means the Mets remain as good as last year and still have plenty of improvements to make including shoring up their weak bullpen.
Personally, I just can’t wait until Spring Training to see what he shows up to work in/on.