5 times the Wilpon Family were not cheap
Cespedes signs 4th biggest contract in Mets history
Fast forward only three years later and the Wilpons made another splash. In the middle of the hunt for a playoff spot in 2015, the Mets made a blockbuster trade for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Following a historic regular season run for him and a trip to the World Series, Cespedes was set to become a free agent.
In January of 2016, the Mets resigned Cespedes to a 3-year contract worth $75 million with an opt-out after the first year. Cespedes did indeed opt-out after the first season and then resigned again for a 4-year deal worth $110 million.
The 4-year deal Cespedes signed after opting out of his first contract was the 4th biggest deal in Mets history at the time.
The first deal was huge for the Mets and Mets fans. Cespedes had just carried the team to the postseason and had a pretty decent showing in the NLDS and NLCS, along with the fact that the division rival Washington Nationals were rumored to be pushing for Cespedes hard. The Mets were able to keep Cespedes off a division rival and bring back the guy that helped them reach a World Series for the first time in 15 years.
Unfortunately, the deal did not work out great for the Mets. Cespedes did have a strong 2016 season which included a 30 home run season, an All-Star nod, a silver slugger award, and an 8th place finish in MVP voting. He missed significant time in both 2017 and 2018 and missed all of 2019 due to injury. He came back in 2020 for 8 games before opting out due to COVID.
The Wilpons decision to spend money on Cespedes did not work out as most had hoped. His first year in the first contract he signed was good, but he was unable to stay healthy afterward and the money they spent was essentially burned. Through 2016, Cespedes was regularly on the field, in his 5 seasons he played in at least 129 games each year, surpassing the 150 game mark twice. It seemed like a decent gamble at the time but just did not work out for the Mets.