Rival exec: 'I will be shocked' if Mets re-sign Cespedes
Yoenis Cespedes has thoroughly endeared himself to the New York Mets over the last 11 weeks, using his mighty bat and rocket arm to propel them to their first National League Championship Series appearance since 2006.
Still, though, certain people around the league expect the impending free agent to ply his trade outside of Queens next season.
"I will be shocked if they sign Cespedes," one rival executive told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Cespedes, who went hitless in four at-bats in Saturday's 4-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the NLCS, said last month that he will seek at least a six-year deal when he hits the open market this winter, while Heyman speculated the 30-year-old could command "perhaps over $150 million."
In their history, the Mets have never agreed to such an expensive contract, with David Wright's eight-year, $138-million extension representing the biggest deal in franchise history. Johan Santana's six-year, $137.5-million extension - a deal the left-hander compelled the Mets to sign in order for him to waive his no-trade clause with the Minnesota Twins - is the only other extension in franchise history worth more than $100 million.
The Mets have been similarly frugal in free agency. Only once before has the club given a free agent more than five years, with then general manager Omar Minaya signing Carlos Beltran to a seven-year, $119-million deal ahead of the 2005 campaign.
Cespedes, meanwhile, will highlight a solid crop of free-agent outfielders that also includes Justin Upton and Jason Heyward. In 159 games this season, split between the Mets and the Detroit Tigers, Cespedes managed career-highs in OPS (.870), home runs (35), and doubles (42).