The collective borough of Queens can breathe a sigh of relief as the team has reportedly acquired slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers, as first reported by Bruce Levine of 670Score.com.
Source says Cespedes has been dealt to the Mets.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) July 31, 2015
It has been a tumultuous week for the Mets, as they believed to have acquired now-former Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez. But talks fell through and the trade never went down. As the non-waiver trade deadline went down to the wire, the team finally got the big bat they’ve been yearning to get for a long time.
Cespedes, 29, was enjoying a fine season in the Motor City, batting .293 with 18 HR and 61 RBI in an American League leading 102 games. In addition to being a force from the right-side of the plate, Cespedes brings with him a cannon arm that is known for throwing out runners with the greatest of ease. Although, the addition of Cespedes could create a bit of a logjam in the Mets’ outfield.
If and when Michael Cuddyer returns to the lineup, the Mets would have Cuddyer, Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Juan Lagares in their outfield mix. Top prospect Michael Conforto will now likely be sent down to accommodate their newest acquisition. But that will be a situation the Mets’ will worry about when the time comes.
Also, the Mets’ offense has been one of the worst in the National League. They are last in batting average (.235), second to last in on-base percentage (.300) and slugging percentage (.364) and middle of the pack in HR (88). With 2013 Home Run Derby winner Cespedes, who won the event at Citi Field on board, the offense gets a much needed jolt.
Another major driving force for this trade was Cespedes’ contract situation. He is a free agent at the end of the year and with the way his contract is structured, he cannot be offered a qualifying offer. Therefore, the Tigers’ were risking losing him to free agency and getting nothing in return. But their return appears to be an effective one.
The most frequently-mentioned player that the Mets discussed in trade talks was oft-injured young pitcher Zack Wheeler. He was rumored to be a part of the aforementioned trade for Gomez or a potential deal for Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce. But Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Mets will keep Wheeler in the trade.
mets kept wheeler
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2015
Instead, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Tigers will receive a pair of minor league players in return.
Luis Cessa is the weak link of this trade. The 25-year-old pitcher has been in the Mets system since 2011 and is yet to make a major impact. Thus far in 2015, Cessa has split time between Double and Triple-A, posting a combined record of 7-7 with a 3.98 ERA. However, his Triple-A numbers are abysmal with an 0-3 record with an 8.51 ERA.
The prized acquisition for the Tigers is Michael Fulmer, a 22-year-old first round draft pick from 2011. He has shown tons of promise this season, especially at Double-A, where he is 6-2 with a robust 1.88 ERA. He has good swing-and-miss stuff and could potentially be a fixture in the Tigers rotation in 2016.
[Image by Leon Halip/Getty Images]