Cespedes has had his best season of his career in Detroit. He’s hit 18 homers and has 61 RBIs and has already accumulated a 4 WAR, which is his career-high. Cespedes has been traded three times now in the last 12 months and is a free agent at the year’s end. He expressed interest in returning to the Tigers, but the team he ends the year with can only negotiate with him for a five-day window and then can’t talk to him until May 15th about signing a new deal, something Cespedes would likely not wait for. The Mets needed a good hitter to spruce up their line-up and Cespedes was their guy. Cespedes figures to fit right in the middle of the Mets order and help them make a playoff push. Cespedes’ career year included a .293/.323/.506 batting line and OPS+ of 125. The interesting thing about this move for the Tigers is that they could basically be renting Cespedes out for two months if his comments about wanting to come back are true.
The Tigers got two right-handed pitchers in return, both almost ML ready. The first is RHP Michael Fulmer, who is the gem in this deal. Fulmer has dominated AA this season. The 22-year-old was the 44th overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft. He figures to be a good middle of the rotation starter in the Tigers future and was MLB Pipeline’s 7th rated Mets prospect, and Baseball America’s 13th best Mets prospect coming into 2015. He has a 1.88 ERA with 83 strikeouts and 23 walks in AA this year. The other prospect is 23-year-old righty Luis Cessa, who had made 5 starts at AAA after having a 2.56 ERA in 13 AA starts. Cessa is a converted middle infielder with a good three pitch mix according to MLB Pipeline, who rates him as the Mets 16th best prospect. He figures to fit into the Tigers 2016 plans as a back-end starter. The Tigers now have flexibility in free agency as Verlander, Sanchez, Norris, Boyd, and one of Fulmer/Cessa could crack their 2016 starting rotation. They now can spend their offseason money on trying to get Cespedes back, or maybe a another good starter or relievers. If the Tigers get Cespedes back, the deal is an absolute steal for them.
This move figures to help both teams out, the Mets in 2015 and Tigers in 2016. Cespedes has now been traded the past two deadlines, and figures to help the Mets offense while his value skyrockets in the free agent market. The Mets should love the Duda/Cespedes power combination.