Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and the New York Mets have reached a contract agreement on a 3 year, $75 million deal that will keep the Cuba born slugger in a Mets uniform for the next 3 seasons barring any trades.
Despite playing for 2 different teams this year, having been traded from the Detroit Tigers in the American League to the New York Mets in the Nationals League, Cespeded had arguably his best single season performance since coming into the big leagues in 2012.
Cespedes hit for .291 this season, the second highest in his career, as well as knocking in 105 RBIs and 35 homeruns, both of which were career highs for Cespedes.
The Mets were one of the more impressive teams in Major League Baseball this year making a strong push through the entire regular season and into the World Series where they did eventually lose to the eventual Series champion Kansas City Royals.
The $25 million per year average for the contract ties him for the highest paid outfielders ever along with Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Hamilton.
The Mets organization seems to all agree that Cespedes, who turned 30 recently, is absolutely worth the investment.
“He works very hard to be a good teammate,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Even though he doesn’t speak a lot of English, he works very, very hard at it.”
“I’ve been around a lot of great players. I’ve seen a lot of great players. This guy, just strictly tools, the five tools, he’s got them all,” Collins continued.
The Mets were not the only team trying to secure the services of Cespedes for the start of next season with the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles both reportedly making offers for the services of Cespedes, including what was reportedly a 5 year offer from the Nationals.
This contract is somewhat different from what has been standard contract fare for big name players in recent years. More and more big name players have been getting big money long term deals that often have teams paying players top tier money long after they have stopped being as productive as they were when they negotiated the contract to begin with.
Having Cespedes sign a 3 year deal allows maximum flexibility for both Cespedes and the Mets. If Cespedes continues to produce the kind of top quality performances he produced last season, he may be able to garner an even larger contract at the end of this 3 year deal. If he fails to produce, the Mets aren’t going to be stuck with a long term deal taking up cap space.
All in all this was a great deal for both parties.