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New York Mets best free agent signings in franchise history

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: A New York Mets batting helmet in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 08: A New York Mets batting helmet in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros at Clover Park on March 8, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The Mets defeated the Astros 3-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA, GEORGIA – AUGUST 01: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets bats during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on August 01, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The New York Mets have taken advantage of free agency plenty of times over the years. These 15 are the greatest they have ever signed.

Steve Cohen is the new owner of the New York Mets, and it’s evident that he wants the team to be active this free agency. With that in mind, I decided to take a look back at the 15 best free agent signings in team history.

The Mets have found some of the best players in franchise history via free agency. There are some familiar names on this list from recent years as well as some great players from the 1990s and early 2000s.

Note: This list doesn’t include amateur free agents and was determined by various stats, accolades, and awards, and the overall impact they may have had on the team and fanbase.

15) Asdrúbal Cabrera

INF, 2016-18

.279/.339/.464, .803 OPS, 117 OPS+, 55 HR, 179 RBI, 6.2 WAR

Asdrúbal Cabrera is a fan-favorite of the past decade and one of the best free agency signings the organization ever made. Cabrera signed a two-year, $18.5 million deal with the team in December 2015. The contract had a third-year team option that was exercised at $6.5 million in 2018.

Cabrera didn’t have many noteworthy moments as a Met, but his contributions to the team throughout the three years he spent in Flushing are undeniable.

In 2016 and 2017, he led the team in hits, singles, doubles, and batting average. In 2017, he led the team in on-base plus slugging as well as slugging and on-base percentage.

14) Yoenis Céspedes

LF, 2016-20

.280/.354/.530, .884 OPS, 136 OPS+, 31 HR, 86 RBI, 3.0 WAR

Next up is arguably the most controversial Met of the past decade. Yoenis Cespedes has been a truly fantastic player, but injuries got the best of him during his tenure in New York.

Céspedes was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Mets in July 2015. He became a free agent after the season but impressed the Mets enough to earn a three-year, $75 million deal.

After the 2016 season, one of the very best of his career, Céspedes opted out of his deal and the Mets proceeded to sign him to a four-year, $110 million contract.

Céspedes grew notorious for constantly getting hurt after signing his mega-deal, playing a grand total of 127 games, including zero in 2019, from 2017 to 2020.

However, Céspedes was an instrumental part of the 2016 Mets and was the team’s best hitter and one of the faces of the franchise. That year, he led the team in home runs, RBI, slugging and on-base percentage, on-base plus slugging, total bases, sacrifice flies, and intentional walks.

Céspedes was an All-Star, a Silver Slugger, and finished eighth in NL MVP voting. The deal the Mets signed him to after that season proved to be arguably one of the worst in franchise history, but he did produce for New York before that. It is safe to say, however, that Céspedes’ giant contract, won’t be missed.

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