Cespedes hopes to end career with Mets
Outfielder finalizes $110 million, four-year pact, with no-trade clause for N.Y.’s 31-year-old slugger
Having finalized a $110 million, four-year contract with the New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes declared: “God willing, I will finish my career with this team.”
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson quickly interjected: “God willing, and a no-trade clause, by the way.”
The video board on the wall of Citi Field’s news conference room featured a photo of the slugging outfielder and the hashtag: “YOGotHim.”
“This is the third time we have acquired Yoenis in the last 17 months, and it appears two legal separations have only strengthened the marriage,” Alderson said Wednesday.
A two-time All-Star, Cespedes gets $22.5 million in 2017, $29 million in each of the following two seasons and $29.5 million in 2020.
“I just knew I wanted to be back,” Cespedes said through an interpreter. “I think just the way teammates received me with open arms made me feel very welcome.”
The 31-year-old received a full no-trade provision as part of the agreement, the largest for a free agent thus far this offseason. The deal’s $27.5 million average annual value ties former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for the second-highest among position players, trailing only Miguel Cabrera’s $29.2 million with Detroit.
Acquired by the Mets from the Tigers at the July 31 trade deadline in 2015, Cespedes had 17 home runs and 44 RBIs in 57 games with the Mets down the stretch, helping them reach the World Series for the first time since 2000.
After finding a slow market in a free-agent class that also included Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon and Justin Upton, Cespedes made a surprise return to the Mets
when New York agreed in January to a $75 million, three-year contract that allowed him to opt out after one season and $27.5 million. That earned him the hashtag: “GotYoBack.”
Cespedes had 31 homers and 86 RBIs in 132 games this year as the Mets earned a wild-card berth, slowed after injuring his right quadriceps on July 8. He hit one home run after Sept. 11.
“It is clear when Yoenis Cespedes plays for the Mets, the Mets win,” Alderson said.
Alderson had said he wanted a resolution to Cespedes’ negotiations with the team by the end of next week’s winter meetings. Other outfielders on the free-agent market include major league home run leader Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista, Carlos Beltran, Dexter Fowler, Josh Reddick and Matt Holliday.
“Last year we sort of threaded the needle,” Alderson said.
NOTES: The Mets traded pitcher Logan Verrett to the Baltimore Orioles for $50,000. Verrett, a 26-year-old right-hander, was 3-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 12 starts and 23 relief appearances this year.