Serious talks between the two parties had reportedly resumed on Friday
The Mets have agreed to a three-year deal with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
The deal will be worth $75 million and will include both an opt-out after the first year and a no-trade clause, reports Rosenthal.
According to Rosenthal, if Cespedes opts out after 2016, his salary for the season will wind up being $27.5 million, which would be the second-highest average annual value ever for a position player.
It was reported earlier on Friday that the Mets were in talks with Cespedes’ camp but things remained relatively quiet until around 10:30 p.m. It was then that rumors of mystery teams emerged, as reported by both Rosenthal and Jon Heyman.
Less than a half hour after the reports of the supposed mystery team or teams, it was reported that the Mets and Cespedes had a deal.
After being acquired from the Tigers last July 31, Cespedes hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 HR and 44 RBI in 57 games.
In the postseason, Cespedes hit two home runs in the NLDS but suffered an injury toward the end of the NLCS against the Cubs. He then struggled for the remainder of that series and the World Series against the Royals.
The optimism surrounding the Mets and Cespedes was growing over the last 24 hours, but the outcome is still eye-opening.
Reports over the last few weeks indicated that the Mets would be willing to go as high as three years and $60 million for Cespedes, but they blew right past that — offering $15 million more, an opt-out clause after the first year, and a no-trade clause.
Along with the simple fact that Cespedes is back — which is tremendous — is the roller coaster of emotions Mets fans were on since yesterday afternoon, when it was reported that the Nationals had offered Cespedes a five-year deal worth roughly $100 million.
When the Nats offer emerged, most assumed a nightmare for the Mets and their fans was about to occur. But Ken Rosenthal’s article on Thursday night, suggesting that Cespedes wanted to remain with the Mets and might take less to do so, flipped the script.
Fans (including myself) were furious on Thursday when it was assumed Cespedes would end up in Washington, supposedly without the Mets making a serious effort to retain him.
Perhaps Sandy Alderson knew he had an unbeatable hand the entire time. Perhaps the outrage from the Mets forced the Mets to act. Perhaps Cespedes’ public desire to remain played a large part. Maybe it was a combination of all three. Either way, Cespedes is back.
So, in 2016, the Mets will have the cult hero who put the team on his back in 2015 and sent the fans into a frenzy. And it’s someone who not only wants to be here, but reportedly left more money on the table to return.
In 2016, they’ll have a payroll around $140 million, shattering the opinion of many (including myself) that they couldn’t spend big even if they wanted to.
And in 2016, they’ll defend their National League pennant with a team that’s better than the one that fell just short in 2015.