New York Mets third baseman David Wright praised Yoenis Cespedes on Friday for being a "great teammate" before the team signed the outfielder to a three-year contract.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News spoke with the longtime franchise cornerstone shortly before Jim Bowden of ESPN reported Cespedes signed a three-year, $75 million deal to stay in New York. Wright downplayed any talk of the outfielder being a problem.
"I will put my name behind the statement that Yo was a good teammate on the field and a great teammate off the field," Wright said.
Those remarks come after questions were raised about Cespedes' attitude. John Harper of the Daily News reported Jan. 16 that he "apparently irritated the Mets at times by not taking batting practice, not hustling during games at times and constantly smoking cigarettes between innings."
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports wrote signing Cespedes to a new contract meant the Mets will be forced to deal with his "diva-like tendencies."
Now that the former Detroit Tiger has signed a new contract, the question is whether he can match his on-field performance that followed last season's trade. Cespedes hit .287 with 17 home runs in 57 games down the stretch as the Mets began a memorable run to the World Series.
His career numbers are lower than the pace he set during the second half of last year in New York, though. Perhaps if he struggles on the field, the alleged issues will become tougher to tolerate for his teammates.