The Philadelphia Phillies' division rival New York Mets have re-signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a three-year contract.
mets and cespedes have a deal. 3 years guaranteed. opt out after 1.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2016
so cespedes deal is 75M for 3 #mets. ties alltime aav for OF— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2016
Cespedes, 30, will get an average annual value of $25 million in this deal, but the first year opt-out essentially guarantees that this will be only a one-year deal. Jon Heyman even says that if he opts-out of the deal after one-year, he'll make $27.5 million in 2016, which encourages him to opt-out.
Short of Cespedes having a major injury in 2016, he will almost certainly opt-out next year. At worst, he'll get a similar deal, but given that there were reports that he had a five year deal on the table this off-season, it's hard to think he won't be able to get at least that in a much weaker outfield market next off-season.
Cespedes isn't going to consistently hit at the clip that he did after being acquired by the Mets last summer, but him, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson, with the team also having signed Alejandro De Aza this off-season, give the Mets a pretty deep outfield.
The Washington Nationals were reportedly one of the other contenders for Cespedes, with them reportedly offering him a five year deal with a little less money annually. The Nationals would have had to make a trade to accommodate signing Cespedes, but him and Bryce Harper playing in the same outfield would have done a lot to shift public perception about who the best team in the NL East is.
From a Phillies perspective, the team is still a few years away from being competitive, so this deal really doesn't impact them. In a perfect world, Cespedes will compete for the NL MVP this year, and the Mets will give him a monster six or seven year contract next off-season that negatively impacts them around the time that the Phillies are ready to contend again.
Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) is the Managing Editor of Philliedelphia.com, focusing on news and features.