According to a number of reporters, Yoenis Cespedes is expected to opt out of his contract with the New York Mets.
While obviously unwelcome news to the Mets and their fans, this development should come as a surprise to no one. At the outset of the 2015-2016 free agent period, Cespedes made it no secret that he was looking for a major payday.
"My only hope is to stay healthy," Cespedes said. "I'm not thinking about a contract, but I do know that I will be looking for a contract that is six years or more, has to be six years or more. We'll see what happens."
Given the going rate for power hitting outfielders last year, Cespedes was likely hoping to sign a contract worth roughly $150 million, but instead, he settled for half of that, agreeing to a three-year deal at $75 million to stay in New York.
His inability to land a lengthy deal wasn’t necessarily an indication of how the market viewed his future production, but rather due to the striking number of available outfield options that flooded free agency just a year ago.
Fortunately for Cespedes, that’s not an issue anymore, as he’ll be pitted against Ian Desmond, Matt Holliday, Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez, and Jose Bautista this offseason.
Since joining the Mets in 2015, Cespedes hit .282/.348/.554 with a wOBA of .377, a wRC+ of 141, and an eye popping ISO of .272. As of now, it’s unclear which teams will pursue Cespedes, but the Astros, Yankees, Braves, and Blue Jays should all figure to be interested in the outfielder, given their offensive struggles at that position in 2016.