While he's already getting $10 million this season, Yoenis Cespedes has played his way into a potentially gigantic new contract. The Mets outfielder has come to Flushing and ignited an otherwise stagnant New York offense, leading the way as the Mets have opened up a 6-game lead in the National League East.
The Cuban-born outfielder told Baseball Tonight and SportsCenter that he is looking for a contract of at least six years when he hits the free agent market this winter:
Céspedes just told me in our @BBTN and @SportsCenter interview that he will be looking for a contract of 6+ years pic.twitter.com/Hd4mlJX2Cg— Marly Rivera ~ ESPN (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 18, 2015
Cespedes will turn 30 this October and any team that takes him on for the six years could be running the risk of Cespedes declining over the course of that contract -- a risk that is now mostly built in to these long-term contracts.
Still, the numbers on Cespedes are too hard to ignore. In 43 games with the Mets, he has hit .295/.345/.661 with 17 home runs and 42 RBI. In 102 games with the Detroit Tigers he hit 18 home runs and 61 RBI.
Power hitting outfielders who play above-average defense don't come around every day, and that means the market for Cespedes should be be pretty big. The Mets restructured a clause in Cespedes' deal to allow them to negotiate with the outfielder throughout the winter, and there are already rumblings that the Braves are interested in signing the free-agent-to-be, though whether they have the money is already in question.
At 29 years old, Cespedes is about to cash in on the best stretch of baseball in his career while helping a franchise get back to the postseason for the first time since 2006. Combine those, and Mr. Cespedes is going to be making a large deposit into his bank account this winter.