It is being reported by FOX Sports baseball insider Ken Rosenthal that the New York Mets have come to terms on a deal with free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The deal is reportedly going to be the biggest free agent deal in Mets history.The reported specifics detail Cespedes receiving a four-year $110 million deal. The deal will pan out to an average of $27.5 million dollars a year for the 31-year old slugger. While the amount isn’t as nearly as surprising, the length of the contract certainly is. It was being widely reported that Cespedes was looking for a five-year contract on the open market and teams such as the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals were lurking in the background. Cespedes will receive full no-trade protection and is only behind Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera in terms of annual average salary for a position player in MLB history. Cespedes will however hold the top annual average salary ever for any outfielder with this deal.
It is a big get for Sandy Alderson and company as they look to return to the World Series after last year’s Wild Card round elimination. The Mets have not had an impactful bat in their lineup since Carlos Beltran, and Cespedes has proven to be that and more over his season and a half with the team. He has fully embraced New York and New York has fully embraced him. In 189 games played for the Mets since coming over during the 2015 MLB Trade Deadline Cespedes has hit .282 with 48 home runs and 130 RBI’s.
Now that this deal has been completed, the Mets can focus their attention in other directions in regards to improving the roster. Jay Bruce is highly likely to be traded after this signing and it will be interesting to see what the Mets will want in return. There had already been speculation earlier this month that both the Blue Jays and Mets were talking about a deal involving the 29-year old outfielder. The hot stove is getting hotter with the Winter Meetings around the corner, and the Mets for the first time in quite some time dug deep in their pockets to get their guy.
Coming down to the 5 p.m. deadline, second baseman Neil Walker has accepted the Mets one-year $17.2 million qualifying offer. Walker posted on Twitter on Monday afternoon: “Happy to say I’m back in Orange and Blue for 2017!! Let’s go Mets!”
While Yoenis Cespedes obviously declined the Mets qualifying offer, there had been recent speculation stating that Walker was contemplating accepting the offer, which he indeed now has done. The 31-year old second baseman was having one of the best seasons of his career before his season was cut short in August due to a herniated disk in his back. Walker was hitting .282 with 23 home runs and 55 RBIs in 113 games played for the Mets this season.
This move puts $17.2 million on the Mets books for the 2017 season, and also entrenches Walker as the Mets starting second baseman for next season. Expectations will be high for Walker after the performance he displayed last season, and it is not unreasonable to believe he replicates that season as he is again playing for another contract. The big question with Walker will be health. We will have to see how Walker’s back holds up throughout the duration of the season after undergoing a lumbar microdiscectomy in September. The Mets haven’t had the best of luck in dealing with back injuries recently, so we will all hold out hope that Walker’s 2017 rebound from surgery will be a much more seamless transition.
The New York Mets have outrighted both utility player Eric Campbell and reliever Jim Henderson off of the 40-man roster after both players cleared through waivers. It’s a move that doesn’t come as much of a surprise as both Campbell and Henderson struggled this season for the Mets, despite the latter player beginning the season strong.
Eric Campbell hit .173 with one home run and nine RBI’s for the Mets this season in 75 at-bats. While it wasn’t a huge sample size, the Mets have seen plenty of Campbell over parts of the past three seasons to know what they had. The 29-year old has been a career .221 hitter during his three seasons with the big league club, although he has been known to tear the cover off the ball in a hitters heaven, also known as Triple-A Las Vegas. He is a career .322 hitter over four seasons in Triple-A. Campbell more likely than not will elect minor league free agency, and will look to either latch back on with the Mets, or compete for a spot on another organization’s bench. While Campbell has the versatility to play all over the diamond, his bat never could quite catch up to Major League pitching, despite his impressive 2014 campaign where he posted a .263 average.
Jim Henderson came on strong for the Mets in Spring Training back in March, as he made the ballclub on a low-risk minor league deal. Henderson got off to a hot start as he posted a 1.08 ERA over twelve appearances in the first month of the season. However he could not stay healthy and ultimately would be hurt by ineffectiveness as the season wore on. The 29-year old reliever ended the season with a 4.37 ERA, while also being sidelined for two months with bicep tendinitis and a hamstring strain. The former Brewers closer will look to latch on with another organization on a minor league deal after his disappointing 2016 campaign.
The New York Mets lost today in their first Spring Training game of the season to the Washington Nationals by the score of 9-4. For a complete boxscore recap click the following link below…
- Rafael Montero’s first start of the season was not as good as he or the Mets expected, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits in an inning of work.
- Mets prospect pitcher Gabriel Ynoa pitched 3 solid innings giving up no runs on 3 hits…
- Michael Conforto had a 2-2 effort with a run scored and had the best day at the plate of all Mets hitters this afternoon…
- Wilmer Flores and Mets prospect Dominic Smith also each had a hit a piece…
- The Mets are home at Tradition Field tomorrow afternoon against the Miami Marlins with a 1:10 pm ET start time. The game will be broadcast on SNY and 710 AM.
- Logan Verrett will take the hill for the start against Marlins lefty Justin Nicolino .
- Buddy Carlyle, Zack Thornton, and Jerry Blevins are also scheduled to pitch for the Mets tomorrow afternoon.
All that matters for the next week or so is that the players get into a rhythm and come out of these games healthy… the final score doesn’t matter at this point and will not matter until a month from today when the Mets open up against Kansas City…
A list of players that are expected to travel and play in tomorrow’s Spring Training opener in Viera against the Nationals, has been posted in the Mets clubhouse this morning. Notable players include, Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares, Ruben Tejada, and Kevin Plawecki. Rafael Montero will also be getting the start on the mound. Look for more of the regulars to be on the field for Friday’s opener at Tradition Field. The rest of the roster has been posted after the jump. Continue reading
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Rafael Montero may be a pitcher in Mets fans distant memories. Unfortunately injuries and a plethora of young hurlers tended to shift away attention and dim Montero’s star. But it wasn’t too long ago many Mets fans were wondering where this young hurler would slide in the rotation, as he had all of the makings of a future top of the rotation-starting pitcher. Continue reading
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