The New York Mets and All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes agreed to terms on a new contract, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network on Jan. 22.
The Mets announced the news on Tuesday:
New York Mets @Mets
It’s official! We’ve signed outfielder @ynscspds to a three-year contract. #Mets #GotYoBack https://t.co/vJsh6hPTb51/27/2016, 2:32:49 AM
Cespedes commented on why he decided to sign with the Mets, per Maria I. Guardado of NJ.com:
Heyman reported Monday that the Washington Nationals offered Cespedes a deal that reached $110 million and included an opt-out clause. However, Heyman added it "did contain significant deferrals."
Cespedes had indicated in September that he was seeking a six-year free-agent contract once his prior contract expired (h/t MLB.com's Anthony DiComo). It made sense for him to desire a long-term deal considering the Mets were the fourth different club he'd played for within a two-year span.
New York has to feel good about rewarding Cespedes with a massive payday. The 30-year-old was instrumental to the team's return to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2006 and a big reason the Mets ran all the way to the World Series, where they lost in five games to Kansas City.
With immense power at the plate, exceptional speed and a cannon for an arm to keep baserunners in check, Cespedes has a rare all-around skill set that makes him a solid franchise cornerstone to build around. He batted .291 this season with 35 home runs and 105 RBI.
After the Detroit Tigers traded him to the Mets just before the MLB deadline on July 31, Cespedes registered a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 157, per FanGraphs. That statistic accentuates how valuable he was in sparking New York's middling lineup that had to rely on a lot of stellar pitching to win consistently.
Although his outfield assist numbers declined once the Tigers dealt him, that's more of a function of how Cespedes' success had discouraged runners to challenge him.
Cespedes appears to have finally found a home in the Big Apple—and the Mets have to be thrilled about his progress since joining the fold. In his prior stops, Cespedes hadn't put all the tools of his game together, and it remains to be seen if he can emulate the tremendous production he enjoyed in 2015.
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