The first, and most important, step to the Mets offseason can now be checked off of their list. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report the signing of the beloved Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal worth $110 million. In addition, the deal includes a full no-trade clause, which further states the Cuban outfielder’s desire to return to Queens.
So what does this mean for the rest of the Mets offseason? Well, first of all, the front office hit the ball out of the park with this move. C’mon, I had to do it. In all seriousness though, the way this move was made gives off the idea that the front office is pushing for a ring. Signing arguably the top free agent to the second highest annual average salary for a position player ($27.5 million a year) in baseball history, in November, certainly speaks volumes. It displays a sense of aggression from Sandy Alderson and company, to not wait around and get deals done, which is certainly uncharacteristic of the Mets.
In regards to roster moves, this signing brings up speculation about what the Mets will do with their surplus of outfielders. Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce are both in the last year of their contracts, and could now be trade chips with hefty salaries left to be paid. Out of the two players, the one that is most likely to be traded is Bruce. The former Reds slugger hit .250 in 2016 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI’s, while Granderson hit .237 with 30 home runs and 59 RBI’s. The average and the home run totals are certainly comparable between the two, but I believe the Mets can find more ways to incorporate Granderson into the lineup with his above average defense, speed, clubhouse presence, and the number of different spots he can hit in. With Cespedes in the middle of the lineup playing Left Field, Granderson in Right Field, and the desire to give the young outfielders Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, and Brandon Nimmo more innings, this makes Jay Bruce more expendable. Expect the Mets to move Bruce by the end of the Winter Meetings for bullpen help, a first baseman, or a catcher.
Following this move, the club can go a couple of different ways. This leaves an ample amount of time for Sandy Alderson to make some calls for another big bat, or to sign a solid reliever.
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, and Sandy Alderson is listening to the famous scientist’s wise words. He is taking a completely different approach than in past years, which is refreshing to see. It will be exciting to see what the next move is. Signing Yoenis Cespedes makes the Mets good. If Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndergaard can stay healthy, and Alderson can add bullpen depth and more stability at first base and catcher, it makes the Mets great.