NEW YORK — Yoenis Cespedes is staying in New York. The Mets have reached a four-year, $110 million deal with the outfielder pending a physical, according to multiple sources. The deal’s average annual value of $27.5 million is not only the largest in Mets history, but also the highest for any big league outfielder, and it is tied for the highest for a free-agent position player.
The deal also includes a full no-trade clause for Cespedes, who originally came to the Mets in a blockbuster July 2015 Trade Deadline deal. The Mets have not confirmed the new deal, which has Cespedes earning $22.5 million in 2017, $29 million in ’18, $29 million in ’19 and $29.5 million in ’20, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Numbers aside, the Mets have re-signed the most important position player on their roster. Cespedes, 31, hit .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs in 132 games for the Mets last season, despite battling nagging hip, wrist and quad injuries. Along the way, he created a superstar persona, standing out from the crowd with his clutch home runs, luxury car collection and other headline-generating acts.
Though the Mets signed Cespedes to a three-year, $75 million contract last offseason, the outfielder opted out of the final two seasons and $47.5 million of that deal. Combined with his $100,000 signing bonus from his old contract, Cespedes is now guaranteed $137.6 million over five full seasons with the Mets.
The contract’s annual average value of $27.5 million is tied with Alex Rodriguez‘s deal with the Yankees. It’s the second-highest average annual value for a position player after Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.
The Mets must decide how to configure the rest of their roster, which features a surplus of slugging corner outfielders. In addition to Cespedes, the Mets have three left-handed-hitting outfielders under contract — Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto — as well as Cespedes and righty-hitting center fielder Juan Lagares. The Mets may now look to trade Bruce as part of an offseason plan that should also include some investment in their bullpen.
Zinkie on Cespedes to Mets
Zinkie on fantasy impact of Yoenis Cespedes signing
Fred Zinkie breaks down Yoenis Cespedes’ fantasy value for 2017 after re-signing with the Mets, as he expects a domino effect in the outfield
Fantasy spin | Zachary Finkelstein (@Fantasy411)
With 48 long balls in 189 games with the Mets, Cespedes has found his comfort zone in the Big Apple. The Cuban certainly could have picked a more favorable home venue from a pure fantasy perspective — Citi Field is relatively tough on right-handed bats — but he will nonetheless command an early-round pick in 2017 drafts on the expectation of a 35-homer, 95-RBI campaign.
With a surplus of formidable options, the Mets may not be done configuring their 2017 outfield. In addition to Cespedes, the Mets have three talented left-handed-hitting outfielders under contract — Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto — as well as righty-hitting center fielder Juan Lagares, who is arguably best-suited for a platoon.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Mets News / Sources: Cespedes, Mets strike 4-year deal