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Mets viewed J.D. Martinez as ‘fall-back option’ to Yoenis Cespedes

New York considers Cespedes its top target, but is looking at backup plans in case he signs elsewhere.

Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

UPDATE: New York re-signed Cespedes to a 4-year deal Tuesday afternoon, meaning they won’t need to look at fall-back options like Martinez.
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ORIGINAL: The Mets have “some interest” in Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez as a fall-back option if they are unable to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports. Cespedes remains the team’s top target.

Cespedes is likely to make a signing decision at some point during the month of December after having his free-agent process delayed by the uncertainty caused by the ongoing CBA negotiations. He is said to be considering a return to the Mets, though other clubs like the Giants and Nationals have been linked as likely suitors.

Martinez is known to be available in trades this winter, as the Tigers look to shed payroll and get younger. The team already shipped outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Angels, and is said to be listening to offers on veterans Victor Martinez, Justin Verlander, Mike Pelfrey and Ian Kinsler.

Martinez hit .307/.373/.535 with 22 homers last year for the Tigers, showing an increase in contact numbers while hitting 16 less home runs and appearing in 38 less games due to injury. He will surely be a top target for clubs looking to strike on the trade market this winter instead of committing major money to a free-agent slugger like Cespedes, Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista.