Yoenis Cespedes remains the top prize of the offseason and a player the Mets had hoped to retain, yet he soon may join Daniel Murphy in becoming the second Met this winter to join the rival Nationals. According to CBS' Jon Heyman, Washington has shown serious interest in Cespedes and have offered him a five-year deal near $100 million. If he does sign with the team, not only would it be a huge dagger to the Mets for letting the superstar get away and to a division rival at that, but it would also seemingly make the Nationals the team to beat in the National League East.
Already loaded in talent, the Nationals have added solid pieces this offseason including the aforementioned Murphy and speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Not to be forgotten is one of the players they already had, NL MVP powerhouse Bryce Harper. The starting five is no joke either, and can be argued as the best in the big leagues, with Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg leading the way. Throwing another superstar slugging outfielder in the mix like Cespedes can only improve the team and help them make sure another disaster like last season doesn't happen again.
However, if Cespedes decides to sign with another team, the Mets chances of winning the division would vastly improve. That's not to say they would be considered the perennial favorites, but after seeing what he did in limited time for the Mets, it would be a welcomed sight not to have to face slugger eighteen times a year. Without Cespedes on either team, the division would be up for grabs, but adding a dangerous player to an already dangerous lineup would not be beneficial to the Mets. The Mets have also made a couple of key moves after the conclusion of last season, most notably the signing of shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and trading for second baseman Neil Walker.
Their rotation of starters is impressive in its own right and if healthy, can compete with the Nats for years to come. Of course, they still have stars Curtis Granderson and captain David Wright as well as many young stars on the rise, so they should not be overlooked. These two contending teams know the importance of Cespedes and the impact he will have on them depending on where he ends up. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and if the Mets can keep up with the Nationals if they do indeed sign Cespedes.