When Michael Cuddyer announced his retirement yesterday, the Mets received an early Christmas gift. Cuddyer was owed $12.5 million for next season. Now that he is off the books, the Mets will have that money to spend on a big-time free agent.
Why not spend the money on the guy that brought you to the Postseason, Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes, who was a last minute deadline deal, performed at an MVP level for New York. In 57 games for the Mets, Cespedes hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 home runs while driving in 44 runs.
Cespedes had his best year by far last season. He set a career high in home runs with 35, runs batted in with 105. He also recorded 42 doubles and 101 runs scored. If Cespedes did not spend the first half of the year with the American League Central, Detriot Tigers, he would have been in serious discussion for the National League MVP.
There are some flaws with Cespedes, but none too major as to scare the Mets off totally. The outfielder is a bit raw defensively, but plays hard, bull-in-a-china-shopping his way to most fly balls. And of course, you cannot overlook his arm. Cespedes is 30 and will seek at least a six-year deal. The age may scare some teams off when offering a deal that long, but keep in mind that the Cuban escapee has only played four seasons in Major League Baseball and has played over 150 games each of the past two years.
The Mets haven’t been quiet this offseason. New York has added free-agent infielder, Asdrubal Cabrera to a two-year $18.5 million deal. They also acquired second baseman Neil Walker from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for pitcher Jon Niese.
New York still lacks the big power threat in the middle of the lineup. David Wright, 33, has not played a full season since 2012, and Lucas Duda is a very streaky hitter in the cleanup spot for the Mets. Despite all the young pitching in the world, there would not have been a World Series run from this team in 2015. The offense was that bad.
Cespedes likes New York, he likes the organization, and the Mets do not have an excuse for missing out on this one. The rest of the league has not yet showed its hand in negotiations with Cespedes, and the Mets could be the first team to jump into the Cespedes market wholeheartedly. Adding to the Mets’ case, Cespedes has now played for four teams in the past two seasons. At this point, he may not want to make it five teams in three years.
Yo Mets, bring back Yoenis to Queens!