With the signing of Yoenis Cespedes on Tuesday, the Mets retain a major piece that will allow the team to be a contender for the division. The deal was four years and $110 million, a hefty price for a team who usually never breaks the bank on anyone. The team has handed out these contracts before, like making David Wright a Met for life in 2012 and Johan Santana’s contract in 2008, but this one was a bit more shocking due to what the club wants to do for the future.
The team has a lethal group of young pitchers who are all in arbitration, so the original thought was that they were going to save money for them when their time comes. However, with the idea that the window of opportunity is now, the Mets had to sign Cespedes. But even with the pressure, will this change the mindset of the Mets to spend more money? And with their star locked up for four years, where do the Mets go from here?
This idea that the Mets are cheap stems from the fact that the Yankees are the juxtaposing front office in New York. The Yankees are known for spending, making people ask the question of why the Mets can’t do the same. They are in the same market, even though the Yankees have a larger fan base. The main reason for that as of late has been the Madoff scandal, but even with that, ownership insists that the financial woes have passed. With that, in a time when the Mets have a chance to be great, this should be the time where they do spend the big money.
With the Cespedes signing, the Mets have acknowledged that the time is now, and will bring back the superstar in order to be as successful as they can be. With the Mets, it isn’t how much they spend, it’s when they spend it. The Mets picked up Beltran’s record contract in 2005, and went on to get many great years out of him. The team does spend money, but it only gives it out to the people who deserves it. Sometimes it goes well (Beltran, Piazza), and sometimes it backfires (Jason Bay, Johan Santana).
So where do the Mets go from here? They signed their star, and put themselves in a position to compete for the next few years. The Mets still have some issues in the bullpen that need to be addressed, mostly due to the Jeurys Familia situation. The team will need Addison Reed to be the closer for when Familia gets suspended, so an eighth inning guy will be needed. There is a bit of a logjam in the outfield, as rumors swirl of the Mets trying to trade Granderson, or Bruce. The jury is still out on Travis d’Arnaud’s ability to be a number one catcher, as he regressed in 2016.
The Mets offseason isn’t over, but the most important piece of this team has been brought back. With Cespedes, the team simply plays better, and management knew that. With the pieces in place, and barring injuries, this team should be back to making a run at the postseason in 2017.