After much posturing, the Mets surprised the baseball world on Friday and agreed to bring back slugger Yoenis Cespedes on a three-year, $75 million deal that includes a one-year opt-out clause at the end of the 2016.
A deal that seemed close to impossible just short two weeks ago.
The narrative throughout the offseason was that the Mets were simply not interested in meeting the demands of the slugger that changed the entire narrative of their season after he was acquired at last year’s trade deadline.
I found it understandable that the Mets were unwilling to give Cespedes a six to seven-year contract upwards of $150 to $200 million.
He’s a very good player, but he’s not worth that sort of commitment.
However, as the offseason continued to linger, Cespedes continued to dangle on the free agent market for a variety of different reasons.
After the New Year, it was abundantly clear to me that the Mets needed to reach out to see if a reunion was some way possible.
Even as of Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, it seemed more likely that Cespedes would reunite with his old teammate Daniel Murphy and the division rival Washington Nationals as opposed to coming back for 2016 in his orange-and-blue Mets uniform.
Maybe it was fan pressure? Maybe it was the pressure put on by the Nationals, but whatever the reason, ownership and Mets GM Sandy Alderson decided to act.
They brought back the key ingredient necessary for the Mets lineup to thrive in 2016.
Three years, $75 million, with a one-year opt-out after 2016. Simply put Mets fans, this deal seems too good to be true.
Except that it is and it’s perfect finishing touches on a tremendous offseason.
They welcome back a slugger in the middle of the order who is going to keep opposing pitchers and pitching coaches up at night.
Last season, the Mets lineup changed on a dime the minute they brought in Cespedes. He not only gave the Mets a power threat in the middle of the order, his presence seemed to help every hitter from the top to the bottom of the lineup.
Without Cespedes, this would have been a Mets lineup improved from the one we saw Opening Day from a season ago, but not same powerful lineup that terrorized the National League in the second half of the year.
The Mets lineup and offseason appears complete, and when you combine that with hands down the best starting rotation in all of baseball, it’s okayto dream big when it comes to 2016.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if the Mets stay healthy, they are the favorites to win the NL East and have as good a chance as anyone to win the World Series in 2016.
Yes, I understand that with two feet of snow on the ground, with streets waiting to be plowed, sitting here at the end of January, it seems like baseball season is still far, far away.
However, when we reach Opening Day 2016, Met fans know going into the year that their ownership and GM went all in to put a championship product on the field after winning a pennant a season ago.
I’m sure I speak on behalf of many of the Met fans when I say, it’s about damn time!
A Cespedes for the rest of us indeed!
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