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Luis Cessa Last Man Standing

On July 31, the New York Mets obtained Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes would become an instant star with the Mets hitting .287/.337/.604 with 14 doubles, four triples, 17 homers, and 44 RBI in just 57 games. After the Mets would win the pennant, fans clamored for his return.

Cespedes would return, and he’d be as impressive in 2016 helping the Mets grab the top Wild Card spot. He’d opt out of that contract, and he would sign a four year deal that has not gone nearly as well. Over the first two years of the deal, he’d hit an impressive .282/.343/.525, but he’d only play 119 games out of a possible 324 games.

With Cespedes having season ending heel surgery in 2018 and his falling into a hole on his ranch, he would not play at all in 2019 meaning he’s only played 119 games out of a possible 486 games over the first three years of his deal. Who knows if he will be able to play at all in 2020?

The key piece going to the Detroit Tigers was Michael Fulmer. Like Cespedes, Fulmer had two strong years after the trade before succumbing to injury. In 2016, Fulmer was the Rookie of the Year, and in 2017, Fulmer was an All-Star.

In 2018, Fulmer had a down year as he dealt with various injuries. After season ending knee surgery that year, he would be diagnosed with a torn UCL before Spring Training this year. He underwent Tommy John surgery in March, and he would miss the entire season, and like Cespedes, we cannot be sure when he can play in 2020.

That leaves the final piece of the trade – Luis Cessa.

Cessa was traded by the Tigers to the New York Yankees along with Chad Green for Justin Wilson. Green has emerged as a key piece to the Yankees bullpen, and Cessa finally carved out a real role in the Yankees bullpen for himself this year.

Cessa would make his first postseason appearance in Game 3 of the ALCS pitching two scoreless innings against the Houston Astros. That makes Cessa the lone part of that famed Cespedes trade who is not only in the postseason this year, but who actually played a game during the 2019 season.

In the end, the Mets thought they were getting a player who would lead them to their first World Series Championship since 1986. The Detroit Tigers thought they were getting a staff ace who would lead them to their first title since 1984. The Yankees were getting an arm with upside, and that arm who could contribute something in the future.

It’s just funny how that one overlooked pitcher is the one player from a noteworthy deal who is in this postseason. We’ll see how things play out from here.

2 thoughts on “Luis Cessa Last Man Standing”

  1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    “On July 31, the New York Mets obtained Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes would become an instant star with the Mets hitting .287/.337/.604 with 14 doubles, four triples, 17 homers, and 44 RBI in just 57 games. After the Mets would win the pennant, fans clamored for his return.”

    —And at the time, 3/75m was a decent signing. A very high AAV at the time, for a Mets team with a modest offense, but it was as short as these deals get and they needed Cespedes given how little was coming through the pipeline. This was just before the remaining half of baseball’s FOs who hadn’t already figured it out realized, en masse, that players overwhelmingly fall off a cliff in their early 30s.

    “Cespedes would return, and he’d be as impressive in 2016 helping the Mets grab the top Wild Card spot.”

    —Not so:

    2015 159 games, 6.3 bWAR
    2016 132 games, 3.1 bWAR

    Or half the player he’d been at his peak in 2014-2015, not to mention he was now 30. The Mets deal after the 2015 season signed Cespedes for his age 30-32 seasons, for 75m. The Mets deal after the 2016 season was for the player’s age 31-34 seasons, for 110m. And, they knew about his leg issues. The Wilpons shouldn’t have thanked the stars that Cespedes opted out of his 75m deal and got them off the hook. Instead, they followed him down the rabbit hole. It was extraordinary malfeasance from owners who didn’t have any judgment to trust, so they took the path of least resistance with a move they knew casual fans would applaud–and hamstrung the club for the next four years.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The 3.1 WAR in 2016 is impressive, and he outplayed his salary.

      But yes, not going year to year with him was a massive mistake.

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