While the scorching post-trade production of Yoenis Cespedes had many Mets fans hoping the team would be able to find a way to re-sign him. However, a team official tells ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin that while the Mets will embark on a modest pursuit of Cespedes once he hits the open market, it’s highly likely that the slugger will sign elsewhere this winter. Cespedes hit a strong .287/.337/.604 with 17 homers in 249 plate appearances for the Mets, but a shoulder injury slowed his production late in the season, as did a fastball to the left hand in a Sept. 30 at-bat against the Phillies. Slow finish aside, Cespedes probably still has a six-year deal awaiting him on the open market, and it’s tough to see the Mets outbidding the rest of the field based on their history in free agency.
A few more notes pertaining to the NL Champs…
- Daniel Murphy professed how much he’s enjoyed being a member of the Mets to Newsday’s Marc Carig, but the team isn’t likely to match the four-year offers he’s expected to command on the open market, Carig writes. The Mets do feel that Murphy has fundamentally improved as a hitter, he continues, but with a possible long-term option in Dilson Herrera, Murphy is expected to depart. Sources tell Carig that the Mets could look to re-sign Kelly Johnson to serve as a bridge to Herrera, though, especially since Johnson could spell David Wright at third base on occasion.
- Rubin tweets that it “sounds like” the Mets will retain Addison Reed via arbitration this winter and deploy him in a setup capacity next year. Reed is projected by MLBTR to earn $5.7MM in arbitration, though Rubin’s tweet seems to indicate that the Mets are comfortable with that range. He notes that the team still could use an additional late-inning arm.
- There’s a “growing thought” within the organization that it would be beneficial for Travis d’Arnaud to learn a second position to expand his versatility, Carig tweets. I’d imagine that would entail corner outfield or first base, though d’Arnaud has virtually no experience at either position. There was some talk in 2014 and earlier this season about d’Arnaud getting some reps in left field, and it seems that conversation could again resurface.
- Carig also tweets that of all the Mets’ free agents, Johnson and left-hander Jerry Blevins are the only two that are “expected” to return. Blevins tossed just four innings for the Mets this year before suffering a fractured arm on a come-back line drive to the mound. He was working his way through rehab when he slipped and fell off a curb, re-fracturing in the arm and resulting in surgery. GM Sandy Alderson picked up Blevins in exchange for outfielder Matt den Dekker last spring and saw the lefty retire the first 15 batters he faced before suffering the initial injury. With left-handed relief still an area of need and Blevin’s asking price likely on the low side, it makes sense that the Mets would want to bring him back.
- MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo runs down the club’s offseason position by position, noting that the Mets will probably cut ties with twice-suspended Jenrry Mejia this winter and also speculating on Colby Rasmus and Denard Span as potential fits in center field. Either would give Juan Lagares a platoon partner, though I personally wonder if the club would at least consider the possibility of running with Span or even Dexter Fowler full-time, then trading Lagares or using him as a fourth outfielder while his yearly salary is still modest. That, of course, is just speculation on my behalf though.