At least three other organizations are currently showing interest in wooing outfielder Yoenis Cespedes away from the Mets, per Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). With four suitors (including New York) presently in the hunt, Cespedes’s representatives believe he could reach a deal by early December.
That would represent a much quicker end to the open-market experience than Cespedes experienced last year, when he did not re-sign with the Mets until late January. But this time around, he’s the consensus top-available free agent with lesser competition and another superstar campaign under his belt. While there aren’t a lot of teams that make for perfect fits, the expectation remains that Cespedes will draw some concerted bidding that drives his price north of $100MM.
The Mets have made no secret of the fact that they are interested in a reunion with a player who had a huge role in generating two consecutive postseason appearances. It remains to be seen whether New York will be willing to go to a length and total value that it prefers not to in order to bring him back, but it’s also possible that the price tag won’t go out of the team’s comfort zone.
In an appearance on 710 WOR (audio link), GM Sandy Alderson suggested that it’s all still very much up in the air how things will turn out with Cespedes. The club is “in one sense in a better position” than it was last winter, he noted, since Cespedes is “much more familiar” with the organization. The 31-year-old has personally indicated his interest in returning to the Mets, said Alderson, and there has been extensive communication with his agent.
Among other topics, Alderson also chatted about the alternatives in the event Cespedes heads elsewhere. He suggested there are other “significant” right-handed hitters who could conceivably be pursued, noting Jose Bautista as one of several free agents and possible trade targets who may be available. There are also “complementary piece[s]” who could be had; Alderson noted Steve Pearce as an example of a player who’d at least hypothetically offer another option. It’s still an open question for the team, said the veteran executive, whether it’s truly necessary to add another right-handed-hitting outfielder given the team’s other lineup options.