The New York Mets and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes have agreed to a four year $110 million dollar contract, lasting until the end of the 2020 season. This contract also includes a full no-trade clause.
After signing a three year $75 million dollar deal with the Mets following the 2015 season, Cespedes opted out of his contract to test free agency.
Cespedes, who was acquired by the Mets at the 2015 trade deadline, hit 48 home runs and 130 RBIs in 189 games with the team. Cespedes also won the American League Gold Glove award in 2015.
“It was something they sort of had to do, he was an important piece of the team,” said John Jeansonne, an Adjunct Professor in Journalism at Hofstra University. “If they didn’t pay him, someone would’ve snatched him up and payed him just as much or more.”
Jeansonne, who currently teaches sports writing, has written about sports with Newsday for 44 years and still does freelance with them.
“The signing for the team is huge,” said Vincent Rice, a lifelong Mets fan and currently a pitcher for Farmingdale State College. “It was evident last year when he wasn’t in the lineup the team’s offense wasn’t the same.”
After Cespedes was acquired in Aug. of 2015 in a trade with the Detroit Tigers, he immediately became a fan favorite amongst Mets fans. This was largely in-part due to his immediate impact on the team’s success.
The Mets went 36-22 after the trade and were able to win the NL East for the first time since 2006. The team went on to make it to the World Series, where they eventually were defeated by the Kansas City Royals in five games.
“He’s definitely gonna bring in a lot of fans,” said Dennis Palica, a Mets fan from Franklin Square. “The people love him. I see his jersey everywhere.”
Palica was also slightly skeptical of the signing. “I hope the Mets just didn’t put all their eggs in one basket because in baseball you can’t rely on one guy. It’s a team sport but sometimes he treats it as an individual sport.”
This signing was the largest of Sandy Alderson’s career as the Mets’ general manager. Cespedes’ contract is the third largest for a position player in Mets’ history, and is the largest based on yearly salary.
Cespedes is scheduled to make $22.5 million a year in 2017, $29 million each year of the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and $29.5 million in 2020.
“It shows the fans that the Mets are willing to win right now,” said Rice. “They’ll do everything in their power to bring a World Series to Flushing.”
Social media reactions to the signing:
John Jeansonne: John.F.Jeansonne@hofstra.edu
Vincent Rice: (516) 209-7992
Dennis Palica: (516) 672 2953