Yoenis Cespedes reportedly opted out of his contract with the Mets on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin. The 31-year-old outfielder announced his intention to pursue free agency last week and was due another $47.5 million through 2018. The Mets will tender a qualifying offer to Cespedes on November 7 and will receive draft pick compensation if he picks up a deal elsewhere in the league.
Cespedes signed a three-year, $75 million deal with the Mets in January of 2016, with an opt-out clause that gave him the wiggle room to pursue free agency after his first full season with the club. The Mets got their first look at the hot-hitting left fielder in 2015, when they acquired him at the trade deadline for then-minor league right-handers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa. After battling through a leg injury to start the season, he steamrolled opposing pitchers in 2016 with a .280/.354/.530 batting line, 31 home runs, and 86 RBI over 132 games.
Cespedes profiles as one of the biggest names in this season’s free agent market. During the 2015 offseason, he turned down a five-year, $110 million deal from the Nationals that would have included an opt-out clause after two years, instead opting for a shorter stint with the Mets. This time around, the outfielder is expected to once again field a number of highly-priced, competitive offers, making a potential return to the Mets a little more difficult in 2017.