Its fair to say that Yoenis Cespedes’ second contract with the New York Mets has been a disaster so far. After posting strong statistical seasons in 2015 and 2016, the only two years in the last 12 that the Mets have reached the postseason, the team re-signed Cespedes to a four year contract worth $110 million. That deal also contained a no-trade clause, which assured that Cespedes would spend the next four years of his career in Queens. That clause turned out to be necessary because Cespedes was weighing a serious offer from the Houston Astros at the time, John Harper of the New York Daily News reports.
According to Harper, the Astros’ offer was very similar to the Mets’ deal which Cespedes ended up signing. The Astros were a serious threat because they were a contender who trained in Florida, with their new spring training facility a short ride from Cespedes’ ranch. Cespedes reportedly made close distance to that ranch a priority in his free agency, along with money, playing for a contender, and the no-trade clause. That clause ended up being the separating factor between the Mets and Astros, so Cespedes re-signed even though General Manager Sandy Alderson was hesitant to put it in the contract.
Since Cespedes has signed the deal, the Mets have seen their star outfielder play in only 108 of a possible 229 games, and the team has suffered for it. This year has been particularly bad for Cespedes on the injury front as he suffered a hip injury on May 6th against the Colorado Rockies and tried to play through it for a week before landing on the disabled list, where he has been ever since. Both Alderson and manager Mickey Callaway expressed surprise recently that Cespedes was still on the disabled list for what was initially deemed a minor issue. Cespedes did attempt a rehab stint but was shut down after experiencing quad soreness last Saturday, but is expected to restart his rehab program on Monday in Port St. Lucie.
The timing of this article is also very curious, especially given the heat that the Mets’ front office and ownership has come under for the team’s lousy play. Prior to last night’s victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Mets had lost 12 of their previous 13 games, largely due to a lack of offense. With this story conveniently pointing out that Cespedes has been chronically hurt and cannot be traded, it gives some of the more gullible portions of the fan base a new target to aim their disgust at instead of ownership for not investing enough in the team or the front office for constructing a severely flawed roster. Smart fans won’t fall for it since they know the Mets have been far better with Cespedes in the lineup than out of it.