Why the Mets Needed to Re-Sign Yoenis Cespedes
It's not all that often where, in free agency, the player everyone agrees is the most attractive on the market signs a deal that is friendly to both himself and the team. But that's just what the New York Mets got after inking their best hitter, Yoenis Cespedes to a new, multi-year deal.
Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million contract that includes a no-trade clause. It's an expensive contract with an average annual value of $27.5 million -- only Miguel Cabrera's $31 million a season ranks higher among position players -- but in signing the 31-year-old Cuban to a four-year deal, the Mets avoided too many ugly years on the back end.
And make no mistake, Cespedes is one of the best sluggers in the National League.
He made his second All-Star team last season when he batted .280/.354/.530 with an .884 OPS and 133 OPS+. He hit 31 bombs and knocked in 86, winning a Silver Slugger Award, as well. And while his defensive range took a hit thanks to a quad injury, he still boasts one of the best arms in baseball.
His 3.2 fWAR, per Fangraphs, was tied for 19th among qualified outfielders. His 31 dingers were tied for 8th, and his wRC+ of 134 ranked 6th.
Cespedes was just as good at home (.888 OPS) as he was away from Citi Field (.880 OPS), and while he did better against left-handed pitchers (1.081 OPS), he was still quite good against right-handers (.839 OPS). September was his only bad month last year (.675 OPS) and much of that could be due to the quad injury he was nursing.
Re-signing Cespedes was the team's highest priority, and based on the numbers, it's easy to see why. However, New York has a bit of an outfield glut they're going to need to sift through. Both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce are signed through 2017, and the team still has young Michael Conforto waiting in the wings. In addition, the Mets need to find a way to get Juan Lagares on the field more, as he is their only decent defensive center fielder. Expect one or two of those corner outfielders to be on the move.
The top free agent bat is now off the market, and say this about the Mets: they aren't cheap anymore.