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.