This is interesting.
Yoenis Cespedes is not your ordinary free agent to be. For one thing, the Mets can’t give him a qualifying offer, thereby tying draft pick compensation to him. For another thing, his contract contained a clause that gave the Mets a short, five-day window after the end of the World Series in which to sign him or else they would not be allowed to sign him until May 15. Working together, these two clauses made Cespedes both more expensive for the Mets and made it much tougher for the Mets to sign him.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets and Cespedes have removed one of those clauses:
The Mets, at the very least, will have a longer period to sign Yoenis Cespedes this offseason.
Seeing the potential mutual benefit, the Mets and Cespedes’ representatives changed the clause in his contract that would have given the Mets only five days after the World Series ended to sign him long term or not be able to do so again until May 15, The Post has learned.
There has been a lot of consternation in Mets Fan Land about whether the Mets would truly try to re-sign Cespedes after the season. They still may not — the market is the market and Cespedes has been amazing in the second half — but there is no reason why the Mets would push for this change if they didn’t at least intend to be competitive in that market. If they didn’t care, they could have easily said “welp, he has that weird clause, and our hands were sort of tied and we would’ve been forced to bid in a vacuum on a very tight schedule!” Now they are on even footing with everyone.