Cespedes Opt Out Day
With the 2016 World Series going seven games, today marks the deadline for Yoenis Cespedes to opt out of the remaining two years of his contract. Once Cespedes opts out of his contract like we all expect him to do, the danger of losing him in free agency will begin to be fully realized.
The Mets have had over a month to negotiate a deal with Cespedes. Over this time period, they were the only team that could negotiate with him, and yet, the Mets haven’t had any real contract discussions with him. Instead, the Mets have let everyone know they are pessimistic about re-signing him because he wants a five year deal. Then they began the process of putting out there the team is concerned about what type of effort Cespedes will give once he receives the five year contract he is looking to obtain in free agency.
This is the beginnings of the same smear campaign the Mets launched against Cespedes last offseason. As you remember last offseason, the Mets quickly moved on from Cespedes by signing Alejandro De Aza to platoon with Juan Lagares in center. It was only after Cespedes didn’t get the deal he was expecting in free agency that he and the Mets were able to negotiate the current deal Cespedes is opting out of today.
There will be no bat signals like De Aza this offseason. The Mets already have a glut of outfielders with Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Lagares. The Mets also have Justin Ruggiano for the moment. With all of those pieces, the Mets are likely going to figure out how to piece those outfielders together. With that in mind, it is likely Cespedes is gone.
And if he is as good as gone, just let him go. He was great for the Mets for the last year and a half. He was a fan favorite, and he was a difference maker in the lineup. If the Mets believe they can build an offense without Cespedes much in the same fashion many of these same front office people did with Oakland after Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi left in free agency, more power to you. This decision right here is exactly why this front office is in place.
However, no matter what your decision, don’t smear the guy on the way out. You’re not changing the fans’ opinion on him, nor are you ever going to convince the fans you are not willing to have a payroll commensurate with the payroll a big market team should have.
With the smear campaign already in place, and the Mets not negotiating with Cespedes when they had the time, the handwriting is on the wall. We just do not know how many more days, weeks, or possibly months lie ahead before Cespedes signs elsewhere. No matter what happens from this point forward, the Mets front office better be right in how they handle this decision.