Saturday, November 5, 2016


As expected, New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes opted out of his three-year deal with the team on Saturday, putting himself in position to hit it big on the open market next week.  With Cespedes having little competition this time around in terms of getting maximum attention on the market (unlike last winter), a five-year deal worth $20 million per is already being bandied about.  Cespedes lived up to his end of the bargain this past season as he smacked 31 home runs, drove in 86, and batted .280 for the Mets in 132 games.  He missed time with a quad injury that nagged him the entire second half of the year but other thanan aging Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, Cespedes is the permier hitting name on the open market this winter.  So who will be heavy bidders?  Let's take a look:

New York Mets:  The obvious outcome would be Cespedes going back to the Mets where he would have maximum exposure and marketing opportunities.  Cespedes has shown that the big market of New York is no problem for him in terms of numbers and he has professed on countless occasions that he loves it there.  The Mets reportedly will wait on making a pitch to Cespedes, much in the way they did last winter as the market came back to them.  Again though there were so many other top hitting options on the market last season that Cespedes fell through the cracks.  That won't happen this time around.  Also don't overlook the fact that the Mets retain Jay Bruce for 2017 which gives them some protection is Cespedes lands elsewhere.

Philadelphia Phillies:  This is a hot rumor as the Phillies front office has made it no secret their desire to upgrade the batting order to support some very good young pitching.  Right now Odubel Herrera is their best overall hitter but he has not anywhere near the pure power Cespedes has.  Cespedes' signing would give the Phils the hitting anchor they need, while also making a big hit on a division rival.

San Francsico Giants:  The Giants are not in the habit of going two years in a row without winning the World Series and anyone who watched them in 2016 knows the big problem other then closing games was a listless lineup.  They will correctly let Angel Pagan walk in free agency and the Giants will also have money to spend which makes Cespedes a great fit.

Detroit Tigers:  A reunion in Detroit is not out of the question as the team always is in "go for it" mode given the aging ownership.  There are still championship pieces on this club with Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and Ian Kinsler and the arrival of Cespedes would make their bats frightening.

Los Angeles Angels:  The Angels already brought in Cameron Maybin and have hinted at doing big things in free agency.  We heard this last winter though and nothing happened and incresingly frugal owner Arte Moreno is an issue.  However it is obvious that Mike Trout needs help and Cespedes would be a tremenodus running mate.

Washington Nationals:  The Nats made a big push for Cespedes last winter and they could do so again.  It seems a bit less likely now though that Trea Turner has burst onto the season as he showed in his spectacular debut last season.

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