The New York Mets officially re-signed slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on Tuesday. Now that they have their best hitter back, the team can start to look toward next season.
Earlier in the week Cespedes and the Mets agreed on a four-year, $110 million contract. The 31-year-old will make $22.5 million next season, $29 million in 2018 and 2019 and $29.5 million in 2020. The contract includes a full n0-trade clause. Cespedes will now remain in Queens for the next four seasons.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made a good decision to commit to Cespedes for the next few years. This is the second offseason in a row that Alderson has had to make a determination on whether or not to give Cespedes a long-term contract. He was a free agent last offseason as well. In the end, Cespedes agreed to a three-year, $75 million deal to remain with the Mets. However, the contract included an opt-out clause after one year. He exercised this opt-out clause back in early November, making him a free agent once again.
The time around, Alderson did not let Cespedes remain on the market for too long. The Mets didn’t re-sign him until late January last offseason. He had a few other suitors at that point, but decided to take the offer that the Mets gave him.
It was clear that Alderson recognized that he needed to offer Cespedes a lot of money in order to get him to come back. Under Alderson, the Mets haven’t exactly been known to hand out big contracts. The is the most lucrative contract that a player has signed during his tenure as general manager. Clearly, Alderson felt as though Cespedes was worth the money.
Cespedes has been the Mets’ best offensive player for the last two years. He was traded to them from the Detroit Tigers in July of 2015 in exchange for pitcher Michael Fulmer. Over the final two months of the 2015 season, Cespedes batted .287 with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs. He stellar offensive performance helped lead the Mets to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. This year, he hit .280 with 31 homers and 86 RBIs. Once again, he had an enormous impact on the team’s offense.
There’s no doubt that Cespedes has tremendous talent. His value to the Mets cannot be understated. The Mets understood this, and decided to make the smart decision to give him the deal that he wanted. The team’s offense is definitely in decent shape for next season with Cespedes back.