Mets could look north to the Blue Jays for a Yoenis Cespedes trade destination
By Tim Boyle
If the New York Mets are interested in severing their relationship with Yoenis Cespedes via trade, the Toronto Blue Jays are a destination to consider.
I know, I know. The New York Mets can’t trade Yoenis Cespedes now. He’s getting paid less and has all of the motivation in the world to get back the money he thought he had coming his way. He’ll hit 52 home runs as promised and the Mets will be back in the World Series in 2020.
Motivation to get paid isn’t enough to convince me the Mets should hold onto Cespedes. While I don’t think they should do anything foolish—a trade included—the team shouldn’t hold onto him for the sake of some belief that he’s about to have a spectacular season.
We already learned teams have reportedly shown interest in him. In my original quest to find a suitable destination, I came up pretty empty. An American League team makes the most sense considering the status of his feet and likely inability to play the field 162 times a year. Heck, let’s call it even and say 100 games in left field would be a godsend.
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One potential destination which has popped up is a little more north of the border than Cespedes may prefer.
The Toronto Blue Jays are having a busy offseason, having already added multiple free agent starting pitchers to the roster. Hyun-Jin Ryu was the latest, hinting that the team may have some serious aspirations for contending soon.
The Blue Jays probably won’t outmuscle the New York Yankees in 2020, but with a young and rising core which includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio they may make noise sooner than later. Cespedes was already a difference-maker once for the Mets. Could he do the same for the Blue Jays?
Something the Blue Jays do lack—among other things—is a veteran bat with some serious power potential. Could we see Cespedes slot in as the team’s DH for a season while maybe earning himself a future contract with the club after 2020?
The Blue Jays are rumored to have interest in high-priced starting pitcher David Price, but this may not be so with Ryu now in tow. It’s clear, however, that the team isn’t afraid of spending despite sending out plenty of signals they were in a rebuild.
Cespedes is not an ideal fit for what I perceive as Toronto’s plan for the next few years. However, if the Mets are possibly willing to trade him with another piece that could help them down the road, maybe he does make a little more sense.
Acquiring Cespedes now gives the Blue Jays first dibs on his future. The franchise seems to have some kind of outline of where they hope to be in the future. Rather than reunite with Edwin Encarnacion, picking up Cespedes on the cheap is another direction to go.
Many of the big spenders in the American League are either pushing up against the luxury tax or lack the space in the DH spot for a guy like Cespedes. I think someone like Nelson Cruz is a great example of how much more productive Cespedes can be for a few more years as a DH.
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I still have my doubts about the Mets finding any suitor for him. The Blue Jays, at least for now, seem like one of the few teams that might be willing to take a chance on a guy with a lot to prove.