It is very likely that Yoenis Cespedes is going to opt-out of his contract within the next few days. The slugging outfielder is lined up to get a big payday if he does.
Cespedes, 31, is expected to opt-out of his current contract with the New York Mets. He has up until three days after the completion of the World Series to do so. This means he must inform the Mets that he is opting out by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. If the Mets want him back, they’re going to have to spend a lot of money.
The Mets have been down this road before with Cespedes. He was a free agent last offseason. He remained unsigned for a few months. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson played it smart with Cespedes. He didn’t try and sign him right away. Instead, Alderson waited until it was clear that Cespedes was not going to get the amount of money he was originally hoping for. Then, he made the offer.
Cespedes re-signed with the Mets back in January. The deal was for three years and was worth $75 million, and it included an opt-out clause after one season. At the time, the signing was praised by Mets fans. Not only did the team have Cespedes back, but they didn’t have to commit to him long-term. Overall, it was thought of to be a good deal for Cespedes as well as the Mets.
It’s understandable why the Mets did not want to make a long-term commitment to Cespedes after the 2015 season. After all, he had only been with the team for three months at that point. The Mets traded top pitching prospect Michael Fulmer to the Detroit Tigers to get Cespedes in July of 2015. His impact on the team was immediately felt. Over the last two months of the regular season with the Mets, Cespedes batted .287 with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs. He helped completely turn the Mets’ fortune around, as they were able to overtake the Washington Nationals and win the NL East. The Mets went on to lose to the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 World Series.
Even though he performed at a very high level during his time in New York, it was still a very small sample size. It was understandable that Alderson was not yet ready to make a lucrative, long-term offer to Cespedes. This past season, we were able to see what he could do over the course of a full season in Queens.
Cespedes had a very productive season this past year. In 132 games, he hit .280 with 31 homers and 86 RBIs. Clearly, what he did in 2015 was no fluke. Cespedes proved that he could put up big numbers in New York over a full season. There are many superstars that have trouble doing this. They let the pressure get to them. Cespedes does not appear to be someone affected by such pressure.
It’s clear that Cespedes has become a very important part of the Mets. Their offense just wouldn’t be the same without him. This is why the team must do everything in their power to re-sign him should he opt-out. There is no doubt that this will cost them a lot of money. However, Cespedes has proved that he’s worth it. Other teams are going to offer him what we wants. The San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angles and New York Yankees are all teams that could have an interest in him. The Yankees and Angles both have very large payrolls. Cespedes is going to get a few lucrative offers. The Mets have to make sure that theirs is the best.
There’s a chance that Yoenis Cespedes might not be a Met next season. The team knows what they have to do to keep him. He’s not going to be cheap. If the Mets let him slip away however, they’re probably going to end up regretting it in the long run.
Flyers Remove Statue of Kate Smith
The Philadelphia Flyers have joined the New York Yankees in the removal of ties to singer Kate Smith, whose famous rendition of “God Bless America” was played at both Flyers and Yankees games.
Earlier this week, the Yankees decided to suspend the use of Smith’s rendition, which was played during the seventh-inning stretch, while they investigated allegations of racism against the later singer.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, there are conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” which
originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals” and was considered satire but includes racist language, including the line;
“Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”
The song was recorded by Smith and Paul Robeson, who was black.
The Flyers put out the following statement on Sunday (h/t ESPN):
“The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with ‘God Bless America,’ as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation.
“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”
Smith, who was popular during the WWII era, recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among various other treats.
Smith also endorsed the “Mammy Doll” back in 1939 which was based on a racist caricature of a black woman similar to Aunt Jemima.
“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”
The odds aren’t good that Smith’s songs will return to their prominent places during sporting events such as they were with the Yankees and the Flyers.
There is a lot of cleaning up to do when it comes to racism in sports, and weeding out songs attached to artists with questionable, and controversial, backgrounds such as Smith’s, is important in pushing forward towards the future.
MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.
Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.
According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.
Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.
Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team
Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.
Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.
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