While the Orioles are likely no longer interested in free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes after signing Chris Davis to an extensive deal Saturday morning, the Mets are waiting to see if Cespedes will take a short-term offer, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
New York reportedly has not made a formal offer to Cespedes but would be opening to signing him to a one to three year deal if a long-term contract is no longer being pursued, MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman noted Friday.
Although there is a chance Cespedes considers a smaller contract, the expectation is he is hoping to receive a deal at least six years in length that would pay him at least $22 million annually.
Baltimore made Cespedes a five-year, $90 million offer Friday afternoon, but that was thought to be leverage to try and convince Davis to remain with the Orioles. Davis ended up agreeing to a new contract with the Orioles, who are unlikely to now pursue Cespedes because of a need for starting pitching.
Cespedes thrived with the Mets throughout the second half of 2015 and added a right-handed power bat to their lineup. Over 159 games last season, he batted .291/.328/.542 to complement 35 home runs and 107 RBIs. The Mets could be open to paying Cespedes between $18 an $22 million annually, but even that might be deemed too high of a price for the club to pay.
When the Orioles made their offer to Cespedes, regardless of their intention, the Mets might have internally discussed other offensive upgrades. Signing Cespedes to a deal close to the $90 million offer would have saved Baltimore close to $70 million. But the Orioles felt they would be a better club with Davis at first base.
The market for Cespedes will likely continue to develop now that Baltimore is no longer involved. Regardless, the Mets are willing to wait and see if Cespedes will take a smaller contract.