As first reported by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the New York Mets re-signed free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a three-year $75 million deal on Friday evening. The news coming after weeks of rumors accumulating of Cespedes possibly going to the cross-town rival Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles, or the Washington Nationals.
The deal is all pending a physical, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin. The Cuban-born Cespedes will be paid $27.5 million in 2016, making him the highest paid outfielder in the 2016 MLB free agent class. Cespedes will have the ability to opt-out of the contract after the 2016 season.
The 30-year-old Cespedes is coming off of a career season, which saw 35 home runs, 105 RBI’s, and a .870 OPS. The Mets acquired Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers at the 2015 trade deadline, as 17 of Cespedes’ 35 home runs came with the Mets in the latter half of the season. Following his arrival in New York, Cespedes helped lead the Mets to an NL-East Division championship, as well as the National League pennant.
Before becoming a Met, Cespedes broke into the league with the Oakland Athletics in 2012, where he became known as a big-time power hitter with an absolute cannon of an arm:
— Bobby DeMuro (@BobbyDeMuro) November 6, 2015
After being dealt to the Boston Red Sox for John Lester at the 2014 trade deadline, Cespedes signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Tigers before being dealt away to the Mets.
The real questions here are why are teams so quick to trade Cespedes? And, why aren’t teams willing to give him a long-term deal, as Cespedes was reportedly seeking a six-year deal from either the Nationals or Mets? Is there something wrong with Yoenis Cespedes that MLB teams see and could have a cause for concern over? Maybe it’s his lack of hustle:
— ESPN 980 (@ESPNRadio980) January 16, 2016
As seen there, Cespedes didn’t even move during the fly ball when he was supposed to at least help back up the play, and low and behold, the ball takes a crazy bounce past the centerfielder Juan Lagares and the shortstop was forced to run all the way out into deep centerfield in order to retrieve the ball. Also adding to the hesitance seen by MLB teams in signing Cespedes is his wicked addiction to cigarettes, as the Washington Post reports that Cespedes has even been seen ripping darts between innings during games.
wait wait wait wait — hold the phone YOENIS CESPEDES “CONSTANTLY SMOKES CIGARETTES BETWEEN INNINGS?!” PAY THE MAN pic.twitter.com/ZGHR68R7XQ
— August Fagerstrom (@AugustFG_) January 20, 2016
Despite Cespedes’ history of bad habits and lack of hustle, the Mets decides to re-sign him in hopes that he can help guide them back to the World Series. Only time will tell if this was the correct decision.