Historically the Mets Do Not Offer an Opt Out to Cespedes
Earlier this offseason, Commissioner Rob Manfred came out against opt out clauses. His stance is important because traditionally the Wilpon family has adhered to the Commissioner’s requests and recommendations. They did so even if it could have possibly prevented the Mets from getting a better player.
I was reminded of that again when I saw the video from the Mets meeting with season ticket holders. Essentially, the Mets appeared to once again be falling lock step with the Commissioner’s office on an issue that would only harm the Mets ability to obtain the better players. Well, now with all the Yoenis Cespedes drama, it appears that may be changing:
Sources: Mets, Cespedes discussing an opt-out clause after the 1st year of a three-year deal. Would allow him to test market again Fall '16.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 22, 2016
Or is it? We all read Andy Martino’s New York Daily News article about the Winter Meetings. We saw in that article how the Mets attempt to manipulate the media to curry fan favor and/or attempt to remove some heat off of them. The key passage is:
My first scoop came in late November, when some media outlets were reporting that Dickey was seeking a five-year deal. Dickey called me one day, angry, insisting he only wanted three. He believed the Mets were leaking misinformation to make him appear greedy. I didn’t know anything about that, but was more than happy to relay his take. I got the story, and he got his perspective in the paper.
One team official, very late at night, screamed at me, “I don’t know what R.A. is telling you, but he needs to step aside and let his agent handle this.
I look at all of this, and I wonder if the Mets are truly going to offer an opt out clause. We know the Mets previous attempts to change public perception on Cespedes failed. Mets fans don’t want to pass on him because he smokes cigarettes. No, they still want him to return. Further complicating the matter is the fact that Cespedes loved being a Met. That means the Mets need to act and act fast. Judging by Buster Olney’s Tweet, it appears they are.
However, I don’t know how plausible it is the Mets would offer an opt out clause. If the leak came from the Mets, it may just mean they want to placate their fan base that they really tried to land Cespedes on a reasonable deal, but he passed anyway. It might have been leaked by Cespedes’ agents to try to get Washington to bid against themselves. What I do know is that the Mets going against the Commissioner’s Office on an issue is uncharacteristic of them. I hope this is the time it happens, but based on past history, I doubt it.
Until I see Cespedes at a press conference putting his #52 jersey back on, I’m going to assume the Mets offer to Cespedes is three years with an opt out after the third year.