The New York Mets are rumored to be growing ever-closer to a deal keeping slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who has reportedly budged off his desire for a six-year deal and is now talking a three-year contract with the team he helped take to the World Series in 2015.
When Cespedes signed with the Mets at last year’s trade deadline, he was viewed essentially as a rental player to boost offensive production and help the Mets keep pace with the Washington Nationals. He ended up being much more, sparking an offensive explosion to the point that many even considered his performance MVP-worthy. In the process, the Mets blew past the Nationals in the standings and made a run all the way to the World Series.
The Mets entered the offseason with little hope of signing Cespedes, who was reportedly seeking a six-year deal worth more than $20 million a year, but his market has not turned out to be as strong as many thought. With a number of other suitors falling to the side, Cespedes is now reportedly in talks with the Mets on a new three-year contract, one that would include an opt-out clause and likely pay him more than $20 million a year.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) January 22, 2016
Fox Sports reported that Cespedes has another offer from the Nationals, but appears to be leaning toward the Mets.
“The Nats had made Cespedes a five-year offer for an unspecified amount, according to major-league sources. The Mets were unwilling to go beyond three years, sources said.
“The possibility existed — and still exists — that other teams are still involved. But Cespedes also could be wrestling with a more fundamental choice.
“According to two sources with knowledge of his thinking, he prefers to stay with the Mets.”
While the New York Mets are rumored to be negotiating with Yoenis Cespedes, there are reports that the slugger could be reaching out to the team’s crosstown rival. Sources say the Cuban defector loves playing in New York, due in large part to its large Latino community and the attention of playing in the nation’s biggest market.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 22, 2016
“He’s played in four cities now,” a source close to Cespedes told the New York Daily News, “and he’s told friends that he felt more at home in New York than anywhere else by far. It’s a great city for the Latin guys.
“And he thinks of himself as being the best of the best, like he’s made for New York.”
But, that interest may not be exclusive to the Mets. Another source said that Cespedes’ agents, Roc Nation, have reached out to the Yankees to gauge their interest in offering a three-year deal. The Daily News report painted that as positive news for the Mets however, noting that the Yankees aren’t too interested and that it seems to show Cespedes favoring New York over Washington.
“As of Thursday night they remained firm on their position that they wouldn’t go beyond a three-year deal for Cespedes, but upon hearing of his willingness to consider that over the Nationals’ five-year, $100 million offer, a source said the Mets became more engaged and talked about increasing what they had been willing to offer.
“It’s not known what they’re offering, but presumably it has to be more than $20 million per year. If Cespedes is truly going to take fewer years, it figures that he would insist on more money per year.”
If the rumors are true, the New York Mets could be signing Yoenis Cespedes very soon. There were rumors on Thursday that the slugger wanted to make a decision within the next two days.
[Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images]