The Los Angeles Dodgers financial issues seem to be keeping them out of the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes. It seems like the overall number one free agent in the 2016-2017 class is going to end up playing for one of the following teams: Stay with the New York Mets, join division rivals Washington Nationals, or head back to the Bay Area and join the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers are looking to trim their payroll and handle the massive debt issues they have, so signing someone who is looking for around $25 million a season just doesn’t sound realistic, unless they start trading away their most expensive assets. That’s not going to happen on a team still intent on contending next season, something they showed they can do in 2016 even with all the injuries and holes all over their different units.
But with the Dodgers out of the picture, their biggest rivals, the Giants, could end up signing Cespedes. The 31-year old began his major league career not too far from there, playing for the Oakland A’s for two and a half seasons. He really came into his own as a power hitter later on, but he left a very good impression in Oakland. Unless he’s fallen in love with life on the East Coast and specifically in New York, the willing-to-spend and power-hitting needy Giants are an excellent fit.
The Mets, who have enjoyed 48 home runs in 189 games from Cespedes, including 31 last season as he helped them make the postseason despite a bruised and battered rotation, aren’t fans of spending that much money over the long term to keep them. But they did pay him $27.5 million for last season, knowing he’d bolt to free agency again. Maybe if there’s some hometown discount involved and he’s willing to make the deal four years they can remain competitive for his services.
The Nationals would love to “steal” him from their division rivals. They made a nice offer to Cespedes last year, and their interest in him hasn’t disappeared. The Nationals keep looking for ways to shore up their lines and become truly unbeatable, or as close to it as possible, something they once again found out their not with an NLDS exit against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Getting Cespedes to leave Queens would give them an even bigger edge than the one they’ve had in recent years over their NL East rivals, most of the time.