The Mets finally made the move they HAD to make yesterday, by locking down free agent Yoenis Cespedes to a 3-year deal worth $75 million.
The fans are thrilled. The team is thrilled. This is a big deal.
The Mets would not have made the playoffs without Cespedes last year - it's as simple as that. And while he wasn't great once they got there, he makes the lineup extremely deep and powerful. Combined with their all star pitching staff, the Mets are suddenly amongst the favorites entering the season. It can't be ignored.
I think the biggest impact could be on 2nd-year OF Michael Conforto. Without Cespedes, Conforto would have been relied on to be one of the best hitters on this team. And while he is looking like a stud already, you never want to put that kind of pressure on a second-year man. He's too young to take the reins of this offense, and now he'll have some more time to develop into the star that everyone sees in him.
It also removes a lot of pressure on the other names in the lineup like the injury prone Travis d'Arnaud, aging David Wright and inconsistent Lucas Duda. This is the perfect move.
It's also low risk. 3 years, $75 million is a lot, but there is an opt-out after the first year, when, if things aren't working out, the Mets can bail and try with another big-name free agent.
Cespedes will make mistakes, and the Mets have to be prepared for his below-average defense in CF, but what he brings to this team is invaluable. It's swagger, it's power hitting, it's a major bat in the middle of the lineup that teams have to be afraid of.
I love this move and the commitment that it shows by the Mets' owners to bringing this team a championship.
Maybe next year will be the year !
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