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What Does Return of Yoenis Cespedes Mean For New York Mets Offseason?

Cespedes signs four-year deal with Mets

Terry Collins and Yoenis Cespedes (Getty Images)

Terry Collins and Yoenis Cespedes (Getty Images)


Yoenis Cespedes is back with the New York Mets! After opting out of his contract when the season ended, the slugger resigned with the Mets on a 4-year, $110 million deal that will keep him with the organization through the 2020 season.

But what does resigning Cespedes mean for the rest of the Mets offseason?

First of all, it means that the Mets have a very crowded outfield right now. There are currently five outfielders on the roster between Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Curtis Granderson. Cespedes will obviously be in the starting lineup every day and it would be hard to imagine that Conforto will not be an every day starter as well.

In a perfect world, Cespedes would be playing left field and Conforto would be playing the right side. They each have played center field in the past but that is not ideal. Out of the remaining three outfielders, Lagares is the only center fielder and he has four years left on his contract so I would be shocked if he is moved during the offseason.

That leaves Bruce, a right fielder, and Granderson, another right fielder. Each has one year left on their contract and neither of them really fits in the Mets outfield next year. The ideal situation would be to trade Jay Bruce. Although he struggled in his two months as a New York Met, there would be plenty of teams interested in a left-handed hitter who had 33 homers and 99 RBI.

One team that has reported interest in Bruce is the Toronto Blue Jays. Jose Bautista is a free agent this offseason and has already turned down Toronto’s qualifying offer. So the Blue Jays could be losing one of their biggest bats. Bautista is also a right fielder, so Bruce would be a perfect fit for them and fill the void left by a potential departure of Bautista.

If the Mets are able to pull off a Jay Bruce trade, I could see them holding on to Granderson as an insurance policy in case Conforto struggles again this year or in case of an injury to one of the starters. He wouldn’t be happy about taking a back-up roll, but he is a veteran player and a great club house guy so it shouldn’t cause too many ripple effects on the team.

Once the outfield is sorted out, the Mets have to improve the bullpen. It is very unlikely that they go after guys like Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. They may use Bruce to acquire a bullpen guy that they need or shop the free agent market.

The only spot in the bullpen that is really set in stone right now is Addison Reed in the eighth inning role. Jeurys Familia will obviously be the closer but with the latest domestic violence issue, he may have to miss some time at the beginning of the season like Chapman did for the Yankees last year. Hansel Robles isn’t a terrible seventh inning guy, but he was very shaky in the final two months of the season. The Mets also need a lefty in the bullpen. Jerry Blevins is a free agent and will probably demand a three-year deal so the Mets will probably look elsewhere to fill that slot.

Signing Cespedes was just the first and biggest domino to fall for the Mets in the offseason. Still a lot of moves to be made but don’t expect another big splash in the free agency market like the Cespedes signing.

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