The Yoenis Cespedes free agency saga is close to coming to conclusion. It seems that he ends up with an NL East team: Either the Washington Nationals or the New York Mets.
What’s the difference? Well, while Cespedes prefers playing for the Mets, who he helped carry to the playoffs last season after getting traded there from the Detroit Tigers, they’re not willing to give him a deal that’s longer than three years, and are unwilling to discuss money before Cespedes agrees to the three-year deal. In Mets’ point of view, this is generous, considering they weren’t about to give anyone more than one year and have already taken steps in Cespedes’ direction.
The Nationals are making things clearer: Five years, $100 million. This isn’t the $22+ million Cespedes was hoping for when this offseason began, but he probably started handling offers a bit too late. Justin Upton, who is probably inferior to Cespedes in everything except being two years younger, got $132 million over six years from the Detroit Tigers. Cespedes taking his time left him with unfavorable landing spots in terms of fit and the ability to spend.
So while Cespedes tries to decide where he ends up among these two teams, he is entertaining other offers, but from now, all signs point towards him signing with an NL East team, and it’s up to him whether it’s a long term deal or something shorter, but on a team he has done well for playing 57 games, helping them make the postseason and the World Series in a few crazy-good months during the summer and fall of 2015.
Cespedes has been in Major League Baseball since 2012, playing for the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets. In 575 games he has hit 106 home runs. He has a career batting average of .271 and an OPS of .805, with a remarkable .942 thanks to 17 home runs during his short stint with the Mets. He made the All-Star game in 2014 and won his first gold glove for his outfield defense in 2015.