The slugger who helped turn the New York Mets into a pennant winner in 2015 will be back for at least this season.
The Mets officially announced on Tuesday night that they signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a 3-year, $75 million contract, which includes a clause allowing Cespedes to opt out of the deal after this season. Reports of the deal first surfaced late Friday night.
Acquired from the Detroit Tigers on July 31, 2015, Cespedes was the power bat the Mets’ lineup lacked up to that point. He hit 17 home runs and drove in 44 runs in 57 games for the Mets, helping Queens’ home team secure its first National League Eastern Division title in nine years.
Cespedes then clubbed two home runs– including a bomb in the first-ever playoff game at Citi Field– in helping the Mets defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series.
The Mets went on to sweep the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series before losing the World Series to the Kansas City Royals.
For many Mets fans, it appeared a foregone conclusion that Cespedes, upon becoming a free agent after the 2015 season ended, would wind up going to another team on a lucrative deal believed to be out of the Mets’ price range. As it happened, Cespedes turned down a 5-year offer from the rival Washington Nationals to remain with the Mets.
Now with Cespedes back, the Mets– boasting one of the best pitching staffs in baseball– and their fans are looking forward to contending once again in 2016. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training next month.