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A look back at Cespedes signing; 4 years for $110 million. Was he worth it?
GM Mets Sandy Alderson kept his word when he retained his best player before the start of the 2016 winter meetings. The cost for the then 31-year-old Cespedes; 4-years, $110,000,000 = to approximately $27.5 million per year.
No one can question how Cespedes was the offensive spark plug that got the Mets to the World Series in 2015 as well as into the 2016 postseason via a one game wild card game vs. the Giants.
After the Mets acquired Cespedes in 2015 at first in a trade with the Tigers at the trading deadline, his 57 games of production at the plate resulted in 17 HRs and 44 RBIs and a .287 batting average.
In 2016 he put up big numbers in 132 games; 31 HRs, 86 RBIs, batting .280. He opted-out of his 3-year $75 million deal with the Mets after one year and declared himself a free agent. Mets wasted no time to keep the Cuban born star in the New York limelight that suits him well.
Mets fans celebrated. They can no longer call CEO Fred Wilpon frugal. Mets ownership had proven to their fans and to baseball they're serious about winning with the goal of going the distance and signing Cespedes proves it. Finishing 2nd, won't suffice as they did in 2016 eight games back of the Nationals.
However, in 2017 the Mets highest paid star played just 81 games. Cespedes spent half of last season on the DL with various hamstring related ailments. His season ended statistically with 17 HRs and 42 RBIs while batting .292. The Mets finished in 4th going 70-92, a whopping 27 games behind the 1st place Nationals.
Since then the Mets have a new Manager Mickey Callaway, 42 who was the Indians Pitching Coach for the past 4 years. Mets have also revamped their training staff and changed their workout routine. Will these changes keep Cespedes on the field more often? Let's hope so. The Mets star will be paid $29,000,000 this season.
Aside from Cespedes, the Mets can now lean on the reacquired Jay Bruce for power. Bruce was signed to a 3-year free agent deal. If Conforto can return healthy and productive say 30-45 days after the start of the season post his shoulder surgery, the Mets won't be short of offensive power.
Then there's 3B. If the sign say Todd Frazier to a short-term deal offense won't be a problem. However, Cespedes if the offensive hub and spark plug that's capable of propelling the Mets into the postseason.
As we know it's still primarily all about pitching. If their starting pitchers can once again be productive. Specifically, can Harvey be what he once was? Can Harvey, Matz and Wheeler spend most of the season in the rotation and not on the DL? Again, another big IF... If so, Mets should find themselves in the postseason.