With the market for his services relatively quiet thus far, slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is reportedly receiving interest from the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, according to Jon Heyman.
The Braves are a surprising team to be connected with Cespedes, as the team is not expected to compete in 2016. However, the Mets are willing to discuss a deal with Cespedes if he’s willing to take an offer below the six years he’s seeking.
mets have been thought willing to do 2-3 yr deal w/ cespedes. very unlikely to work. but cant hurt to stay in contact.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 13, 2016
As the Inquisitr reported several weeks ago, the Mets were believed to be done speaking with Cespedes about a potential reunion for 2016 and beyond. The team had just signed outfielder Alejandro De Aza, a left-handed hitter who is expected to platoon with defensive wizard Juan Lagares in center field.
Also, the team has veteran Curtis Granderson and youngster Michael Conforto in the outfield mix for 2016, making it difficult to give Cespedes a clear role on the squad. However, the team remains in contact with the man who helped lead the Mets to their first World Series in 15 years this past season.
“I think the Mets are doing the right thing staying in touch,” Heyman told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Wednesday (via CBS Sports). “They’re probably bottom feeding. They’re probably just nibbling around, and it’s probably a hundred-to-one shot. But they’re one of the teams that’s still in touch.”
At the trade deadline last year, the Mets traded a couple of pitching prospects to the Detroit Tigers to acquire Cespedes. The Cuban slugger rewarded the Mets by hitting .287 with 17 HR and 44 RBI through 57 regular season games in Flushing, Queens. Combined for 2015, Cespedes finished the campaign a.291 hitter with 35 HR and 105 RBI — all career highs.
“To me, he’s a guy (who) brings a jolt to the franchise — the power, speed, arm. He’s a star,” Heyman added.
Cespedes, 30, has been with four different teams since the start of the 2014 season. Originally signed by the Oakland Athletics prior to 2012, Cespedes spent two-and-a-half years with the A’s before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox at the 2014 MLB Trade Deadline.
But Cespedes’ stint with Boston lasted only a few months as he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in the offseason in the transaction that brought pitcher Rick Porcello to Boston. After a few productive months in the Motor City, Cespedes was on the move once again, this time for a run with Mets that culminated in a World Series appearance.
Perhaps seeking some stability, Cespedes told ESPN through an interpreter after he was dealt to the New York Mets that he’d like to remain with the team for a long time.
“This is something I can’t control. I don’t know what the front office is thinking about. But with what I see so far, I would love for everything to work out and stay as a Met for a long, long time, because I like the atmosphere.”
However, the Mets have already made some moves this offseason, including signing Asdrubal Cabrera, trading Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Neil Walker, and the aforementioned signing of De Aza. The team also let longtime second baseman Daniel Murphy walk as last year’s postseason hero signed with the Washington Nationals.
If Cespedes signs elsewhere, the Mets would be losing their number three and four hitters from a season ago.
[Featured Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images]