- The Mets re-signing of Cespedes should go a long way towards restoring fan trust in the organization, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. The club has taken a lot of flak in recent years for perceived penny pinching and a failure to make big, meaningful moves in the offseason. Much of that can be blamed upon the Bernie Madoff scandal. It should encourage fans to see the team take advantage of a unique opportunity. Although Cespedes signed at a “discount,” the minimum commitment of $27.5MM in 2016 is still a substantial investment for the Wilpons.
- The deal is sensible for the Mets, writes Benjamin Hoffman of the New York Times. Using values provided by FanGraphs, Hoffman notes that Cespedes’ 2015 was worth over $50MM. Expecting regression, Hoffman estimates Cespedes will be worth about $20MM in each of the next few campaigns. While the one-year opt out means the Mets could be renegotiating next offseason, Cespedes will only trigger the opt out if he has a valuable season.
- Based on past performance, Cespedes could be a disaster in center field, writes Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs. However, Sullivan dives beyond the surface – 900 innings in center field spread over his major league career – to find other players like Cespedes. His biggest asset is superior arm strength. Two center fielders who rely on arm rather than range are Marcell Ozuna (-3 UZR/150) and Leonys Martin (15 UZR/150). Sullivan supposes that experience could help Cespedes run better routes and his elite arm can help to avert a complete disaster. Ozuna seems like a much more likely optimistic outcome than Martin.
- If the Mets won the deal, the Nationals and Angels were the losers, writes Mark Townsend of Yahoo. Cespedes was the last top-of-the-line free agent on the market. Now teams will sift through the decent remaining options like Dexter Fowler, Howie Kendrick, and Ian Desmond. The Angels have a particular need for firepower to fit around Mike Trout. In my opinion, Fowler and his high OBP would be an excellent fit batting ahead of Trout. Meanwhile, the Nationals pursuit of Cespedes always struck me as merely opportunistic. They didn’t have an obvious need for Cespedes. In my mind, they may have been assuring the Mets paid something to reacquire him.