After the New York Mets restructured his contract, Yoenis Cespedes is suddenly drawing interest from teams around the league.
One interesting effect of Yoenis Céspedes’ contract restructuring: the Mets have had teams reach out the past week regarding his availability in trades, according to a source. Nothing close or imminent or even all that likely, but some initial conversations have taken place.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) December 19, 2019
While no deal is close, this is interesting to note. The Mets have been looking for ways to shed salary all offseason and Cespedes might provide the best avenue to achieving that goal.
Since signing a four-year, $110 million contract, Cespedes hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s only played in 119 games in three seasons for the Mets. He’s also entering his age-34 season.
So, there shouldn’t be much trade value there. However, on a one-year $10 million or so contract with incentives, he might be worth it. It wouldn’t be all that different from a team giving a high-profile free agent a prove-it deal.
In those 119 games, Cespedes played he was worth 2.5 fWAR. That means over those two seasons he was on pace for 6.7 fWAR. That’s about 3.35 fWAR a season. That’s just slightly under his career averages. It’s understandable for a player who was playing hurt.
If a team was looking for a big bat, Cespedes would be a worthy gamble. That likely means the Mets wouldn’t have to attach a player to move his contract like they would for Lowrie or Familia.
That idea is likely tantalizing for the front office. That said, The Mets could also use another big bat in their lineup. If Cespedes is able to return to form, he’ll likely be worth more than the contract he’s on.
So, the Mets have to decide what’s worth more to them, Yoenis Cespedes’ upside or salary relief? The decision they make will shape what the rest of this offseason looks like.
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