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Mets, Yoenis Cespedes remove contract obstacle

The team took a step toward re-signing their star outfielder.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets and star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes have worked together to remove a contractual obstacle that would have made it difficult for the team to re-sign him, according to a report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

A contractual clause previously stated that Cespedes' team would only have the ability to sign him within five days after the conclusion of the World Series before being ineligible to sign him until May 15, though the Mets may now negotiate with him at any point during the winter like the other 29 teams.

Cespedes' representatives had worked out a clause in his original deal with the Athletics that prevented the team from issuing a qualifying offer to Cespedes when he hit free agency after this season, with the team having to release Cespedes instead of letting him hit free agency in the normal way. Cespedes was traded midseason and is ineligible for the qualifying offer anyway, so the clause stood only as a negotiation obstacle before it was lifted.

Cespedes will likely draw significant interest from several teams across baseball this winter after an excellent contract year in which he has hit .298 with 31 home runs in 136 games with the Tigers and Mets. Right-handed power is at a premium throughout the game, so the 29-year old Cuban will likely find a home for the long-term after spending time with four teams over the past two seasons.