NY Mets 2017 MLB Futures Odds Get Boost With Cespedes Signing
Well, apparently the New York Mets didn’t get the memo that things are supposed to be on hold as they re-signed star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110 million deal. That somewhat surprising result boosted New York’s MLB odds to win the World Series to +1000. Regarded as the top free agent in a weak class after opting out of his three-year deal with the Mets, Cespedes now gets to return to a place he loved playing.
It’s a huge win for the Mets. Bringing back Cespedes after he opted out of his three-year, $75 million deal was their top priority this offseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals, who both have deeper pockets than the Mets, were thought to be chasing Cespedes. He will earn $22.5 million in 2017, followed by $29 million in 2018-19 and $29.5 million in 2020. His average annual value (AAV) of $27.5 million per year is the highest ever for an outfielder, and will have the second-highest AAV for a current position player behind the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera ($31 million).
Cespedes, 31, hit .280/.354/.530 with 25 doubles, 31 homers and 86 RBI last season, his first full campaign in New York. He only managed 132 games due to injury. But Cespedes drove in 18 runs during the September playoff push, five of them putting the Mets ahead. Three of his last seven homers gave New York the lead late in games. Cespedes was also with the Mets down the stretch in 2015 after being traded from the Tigers in front of the deadline. He immediately became a fan favorite as he started off crazy hot and then helped spur the Mets to their first World Series appearance since 2000. They lost to the Royals in five.
New York only snuck into a wild-card spot this past season because its excellent young pitching staff was ravaged by injuries. Really, only All-Star Noah Syndergaard stayed healthy. With Cespedes in the fold, the Mets plan to try to trade right fielder Jay Bruce, looking to eliminate one of the lefty bats from their outfield and his $13 million 2017 salary from their payroll. The Toronto Blue Jays are considered a likely trade partner as the Jays tried to acquire Bruce last spring, but a three-team swap with the Reds and Angels ultimately fell through. Then Cincinnati sent him to the Mets.
The Mets will still be second favorites on MLB odds in the NL East behind defending division champion Washington, which is still expected to make a big splash this offseason. The Nats have been linked to a trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale. New York opens the 2017 season at home on April 3 vs. Atlanta.