The New York Mets played in the World Series last year, and third baseman David Wright believes that success is helping the team lure big-name players such as outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, per Adam Schein of CBS Sports (via Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com):
Until this Yoenis signing, we didn't have that big splash, sexy free agent signing. We made good baseball moves this offseason, I believe. And then you come in at the end and get an impact bat like Cespedes definitely makes our team better going into this year. We are, I feel, a much better team than what we were going into 2015.
Obviously you want the good players to come play for you instead of going to your division rival. We've proven that players want to come play for us. You have to prove that you can be a winning a team, a winning organization, an organization that is willing to be aggressive and pull triggers on trades in the middle of the year, or make those free agent signings. And once you prove that you can stabilize that, and hopefully become a perennial winner, big time impact players want to come play for you. That was the case here.
Prior to last season, the Mets missed the playoffs eight consecutive years and had not played in the World Series since losing 4-1 to the New York Yankees during the 2000 season. As Wright said, they had trouble attracting talent but a World Series appearance can change that.
The Cespedes signing—three years and $75 million—is a step in the right direction, but they didn't lure him from another team. He was traded to the Big Apple from the Detroit Tigers last summer and was one of the more prolific hitters in MLB the second half of the season. He slashed .287/.337/.604 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI in just 57 games.
As this video from the Mets shows, he also has a pretty good arm:
New York Mets @Mets
Don’t run on Yo! Take a look at @ynscspds showing off his cannon. Video: https://t.co/o956J4aB6t https://t.co/aHXtXNfVpZ2016-1-28 22:30:04
However, had he signed elsewhere, Cespedes would have been the second player who contributed to the Mets' success to leave after National League Championship Series MVP Daniel Murphy signed with the Washington Nationals. Instead, to Wright's delight, he remains in New York, and it could help show that the Yankees are not the only team in the New York that can sign high-priced free agents.
The Mets should be contenders again in the NL East with a solid lineup and one of the best young pitching corps in the Majors.
Starters Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz return to anchor a staff that allowed the fifth-fewest runs per game last year at 3.78 and had the second-highest quality-start percentage at 62.
Stats per baseball-reference.com unless otherwise noted.