Would you pay the price?

“[Yoenis] Céspedes just told me in our @BBTN and @SportsCenter interview that he will be looking for a contract of 6+ years.” — ESPN’s Marly Rivera, via Twitter.

Well, there’s our first real indication of what Yoenis Cespedes will be looking for this off-season. Suppose you are Sandy Alderson: do you re-sign him?

Posted on September 18, 2015, in Baseball, New York Mets and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I remember seeing somebody make a GoFundMe or Patreon or something for the Mets to resign Cespedes. I think was up to like four figures lol.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if he resigned with the Mets but it also wouldn’t surprise me if the Mets decide to shut their wallets. Also it’s worth keeping in mind that Juan Uribe also exists and is a pending free agent.

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    • I’m not in favor of breaking the bank for Cespedes. He has been a franchise-level player for the Mets since the trade, but there is nothing in his career stats to suggest he can do that long-term. Realistically, he’s going to be a decent middle of the order hitter for 3-4 years. I’m not sold on paying $20 million plus for 6-7 years to get the 3-4 good ones.

      I would take Juan Uribe back if he’s willing to play a reserve role…I’d like a better fallback option at third base than Eric Campbell. 😅

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      • I’m sure that this is just a coincidence but the one very strong track record Cespedes does have is that the teams that part ways with him tank after Cespedes left. The A’s have been mostly bad after they traded away Cespedes, the Red Sox have been awful since they traded Cespedes, and the Tigers have been pretty s****y since trading away Cespedes. The Mets could save millions, but the ingredients are there in order for them to turn into a subpar team after Cespedes leaves…

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        • I’m a Mets fan, and I don’t view this season’s success as something that is repeatable…at least not without making major upgrades. Luck – in terms of how the Nationals played so much below everyone’s expectation level – has at least as much to do with their place in the standings as the Mets’ talent level.

          If I thought something in Cespedes’ game had changed to make him a .290-40-120 player instead of the .271-25-90 guy that he’s been throughout his career, I’d be all for signing him and worrying about those age 35 & 36 seasons later. But I don’t and I’m worried about committing such a large amount of the team’s resources to one player who had a hot streak at exactly the right time.

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  2. What I would do is make sure I make him a competitive offer that’s not high enough to get him to sign, but high enough so that it can be said, “Hey, we gave it our best shot, he went elsewhere, whaddaya gonna do?”

    Maybe offer him a 7 year contract that basically amounts to $20M/hear for the first 4 years, and $10M for the following three, so we’re talking $110M total. Big contract, but I think he’ll get bigger.

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    • This is pretty much what I expect the Mets to do this winter… except no one’s going to believe they were serious about re-signing Cespedes if they make him a low-ball offer.

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  3. I’d make a serious run at trying to keep him in New York. What Zippy Zappy says is absolutely the case: Cespedes lifts everyone else’s game and they collapse when he moves on. So it isn’t just about his personal stat line, its about everyone’s stat line. Some players are like that, most aren’t. When you find them, you keep them if you can.

    What I’d like to do, were I the Mets (and, yes, everyone says I’m crazy–that neither side would go for it), is sign him for insane money for just two years. I’m talking 30-35 mil per. It keeps you from getting locked into a long-term nightmare like the Bonilla deal. And we have prospects coming up who should be ready in a couple of years. From Cespedes’ side of things, he’d make more for those two years than he’d ever make on the market this off-season and he’d have a higher base rate of pay when he goes free agent afterwards (plus he’d still be young enough to command that kind of money two years down the road). If he waits another 6 years for free agency to come around again, he’ll be too old to really cash in.

    The knocks are that Cespedes (and Boras) want the security of a long term deal and that the Mets have generally avoided over-paying in the Alderson era. My answers to those objections are these. I’d feel pretty secure if you paid me $30 mil a year for two years; I’d never have to work again. As for the Mets, I’ve always maintained that everyone is wrong about the Wilpons. I believe they have the resources and are willing to spend them IF it genuinely makes a difference (clearly they weren’t cheap during Omar’s reign). Prior to this year, the Mets could have signed an in-his-prime Babe Ruth and it wouldn’t have gotten us to the post-season any quicker. You might as well toss all your cash in the fireplace for all the good high dollar free agents would have done us over the last five years. But, now, the rebuild is reaching fruition. I believe they will open the wallets if everyone feels its the right thing to do.

    We have a core group of awesome starting pitchers who should be with us and cheap for the next few years. As for Washington, our pitching is clearly better than their’s (sorry, it just is) and they aren’t an offensive juggernaut by any means. I think we can not just repeat this year’s results without “major upgrades”, I think we’ll be even better so long as we have a Cespedes type bat to go along with d’Arnaud and Wright and Conforto and Flores and (perhaps) the streaky Duda. If the Nats had Kris Bryant to go with Harper, then I’d be worried. But they don’t. With Cespedes, I think our offense is better than the Nats’ as well.

    Of course, a two year deal isn’t likely to happen, but I’d still like the Mets to offer him a fair market value contract, not as a ploy to say “we tried”, but to actually try. If they were going to do as Shlabotnik suggests, I don’t think there’s anyone alive who would fall for the “we tried” line. Even I might join the anti-Wilpon crowd if they try a d**k move like that. And, yeah, purposely offering him a below market deal that you know he’ll turn down cold is a d**k move, no matter how much money is involved. If that’s your game, then don’t even bother making an offer at all.

    Of course, if we’ve just seen the beginning of a collapse that will make everyone forget the ’64 Phillies, then all bets are off. ;^)

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    • I really hope the 2015 Mets aren’t going to remind us of the 1964 Phillies (or the 2007 Mets). I do like your idea of paying Cespedes very well for two years and let somebody else overpay for the one or two good years he might have left when he hits the free agent market again.

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