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Cespedes is back! Yo signs with the Mets for four years, $110 million

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So much for the contingency plan. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Mets have re-signed Yoenis Cespedes. The deal is reported to be worth four years and $110 million. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the deal gives Cespedes a full no-trade clause. Beyond that, Cespedes, who just turned 31, will be under Mets control through his age 34 season.

It is the largest free agent deal ever handed out by the Mets in terms of average annual value. Cespedes’ $27.5 million annual average salary is the highest ever for an outfielder on a multi-year deal. Only Miguel Caberea, who avaerages $31 million a year, has a higher average annual salary than Cespedes will. The only larger contract the Mets have ever given out as a $119 million deal to Carlos Beltran, though that was over seven years. As far as the year-by-year breakdown, Cespedes will earn $22.5 million in 2017 then $29 million in both 2018 and 2019 and $29.5 million in 2020.

Cespedes finished the 2016 regular season with a line of .280/.354/.530, 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances. Earlier this month, Cespedes opted out with two years and $47.5 million remaining on his contract with the Mets in order to become a free agent. While the Mets were generally considered the front runners to retain his services, no shortage of teams were interested. Ultimately, however, it made far too much sense for the parties to reunite given the Mets’ needs and Cespedes’ contractual desires which the Mets were better positioned to afford than most other suitors.

The Mets’ outfield now seems set for 2017, with Jay Bruce in right field, Curtis Granderson in center and Yo in left.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.