Yoenis Cespedes has come home. At least, that’s what the newly signed slugger says it feels like as he arrives at spring training four days ahead of schedule to take batting practice.
And with Cespedes returning to the Mets after signing a three-year contract with the club during the off season, as reported by ESPN, does his return guarantee New York a place in the World Series?
While nothing in sports is a lock, there are certainly many media outlets that believe by retaining Yoenis for the foreseeable future, and combined with the already stellar pitching the team has, the Mets are poised to be contenders in 2016 and beyond.
“I’m very happy to be putting on my Mets jersey again,” Cespedes recently said at Citi Field, after agreeing to a three-year, $75 million contract that includes the ability to opt out next winter. “I know that this team has everything it needs to continue on with what we started last year…. I can say that from my first day when I came last season, that very first day, the fans just showed incredible support. My teammates were so welcoming, as well as the full Mets organization. From there, I just knew that I wanted to come back.”
And as reported by the NY Daily News, Yoenis is not only happy to be back, he’s demonstrating the fact by arriving early to Spring Training.
“That’s exactly it,” Cespedes said through a translator Sunday after arriving three days before Mets position players are required to be in town. “It’s like coming home. I am relaxed. I am home.”
The Mets trade-deadline deal that brought Cespedes to the club bolstered a lineup that last year failed to produce a large amount of run support for their stud pitchers. Cespedes hit.287 with 17 homers and 44 RBIs in 230 at-bats with the Mets during the regular season and instantly transformed the club into legitimate contenders in the National League.
From there, the Mets relied on their young arms, including Noah Syndegard, Jacob DeGromm, and Matt Harvey to propel the team to their first World Series appearance since 2000 against the Kansas City Royals. And though the team flamed out in a 4-1 series defeat – including Yoenis struggling mightily due to various injuries – the Mets are poised to make a run once again in 2016.
In fact, there are only two other clubs ahead of the New York Mets in terms of Vegas odds to win the World Series in 2016, according to Fox Sports.
One of those teams is the Chicago Cubs, another young team loaded with talent who conveniently enough, the Mets swept in four games last year behind Daniel Murphy’s unparalleled October run where he hit home runs in six consecutive games in the playoffs. The Cubs however, who already boast the talented Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Schwarber also added free agents Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, and John Lackey in free agency which explains their rise in the eyes of Vegas oddsmakers.
The other team is the San Francisco Giants who also nabbed some big time free agents in the offseason to help improve their chances of returning to the World Series in 2016. Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto, and Denard Span all add their talents to an already impressive roster that seemingly under acheived last year after taking the crown in 2014. An even more impressive stat in the Giants favor is that in each of the last three even numbered years, the Giants have won the World Series marking 2016 as the next in succession.
But despite the moves from the Cubs and Giants, the Mets have just as good a chance as any, thanks to the re-signing of Yoenis Cespedes.
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