NEW YORK — The Mets are expected to modestly pursue Yoenis Cespedes as a free agent, but a team official told ESPN.com it is highly likely he signs elsewhere. The Mets‘ acquisition of Cespedes as a rental from the Detroit Tigers 13 minutes before the non-waiver trade deadline for highly regarded pitching prospect Michael Fulmer jump-started the team’s moribund offense, fueling a run that ended with their World Series loss to the Kansas City Royals in five games. The Mets became the first team in major league history to reach the World Series after being last in runs scored in MLB on July 31. Cespedes recently told ESPN Deportes’ Marly Rivera that he expected at least a six-year contract. Cespedes said he would like to return to the Mets. “It’s been an incredible experience,” he said. “A very special experience for me.” Asked about his future, though, Cespedes added: “It’s too early for that. My agent told me that we’ll see what’s going on around December or so. It’s just too early.”
And so our Summer Love comes to an end. “Modestly pursue” in Mets talk means “we’re not even considering this.” I actually feel like Yo played poorly enough the final 6-7 weeks of the season that his price tag may have come down enough for the Mets to re-sign him. But this talk from the Mets basically says even if it did come down, they’ll pretty much low ball him no matter what so that he walks.
If he ends up making 150+ million, God bless him. God bless America. Go do your thing for that cash, my man. But if he were somehow to drop down to that 120 million range, I really think he’s the best option out there. We need a right handed centerfielder with pop. Thats exactly what Yo is. The other options just arent as good or really dont fit the Mets outfield with Granderson and Conforto. And while we saw a lot of the warts with Cespedes down the stretch, at the end of the day he was 3rd in extra base hits this season. Thats a big fucking deal. I also think he was hurting more than he let on after that pitch hit him on the hand. His hand, his shoulder, his knee. Dude was banged up.
Now I’m not completely defending him. His postseason performance, for the most part, was a disaster. His lackadaisical play in the outfield just flat out sucked. At times it seemed like any pitcher with a brain could strike him out on three pitches. We definitely saw all the reasons why Cespedes has never stayed put once in his career. But you gotta remember back to August when we saw all the reasons Cespedes was worth every penny in the world. The Mets are gonna have a long road back to the playoffs and the reality of the matter is over the course of 162, a guy like Cespedes is very valuable. He’s not as good as his legendary hot streak in August, and he’s not as bad as his postseason play. He’s somewhere in between. And that in between is something the Mets could ABSOLUTELY use.
Again, if the price tag is too high, you 100% let him walk. But I dont need this half ass “modestly pursue” nonsense from the Mets as if they have some stacked lineup that can easily make up the slack. Dont tell me you’re like “Eh. Maybe we’ll make him an offer” when there’s really no other good free agent fit. Dont tell me you’re gonna ignore Cespedes as if you’re ready to go throw huge cash at someone else. Because I know they wont. If they had a good plan B, fine. But they dont. Its a difficult situation but its one the Mets should at least be taking seriously.