The wait is finally over and Mets fans can let out a sigh of relief.
Free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes agreed to a three-year, $75 million deal on Friday night with the Amazin's. Cespedes, 30, will earn $27.5 million in 2016 and has an opt-clause after one year. The Cuban-born outfielder was reportedly offered a five-year, $100 million deal by the Washington Nationals, but preferred to remain in New York and become the face of the franchise.
Since acquring Cespedes right before the trade deadline, the Mets went 37-22 with him in the lineup and improved an offense that ranked dead-last in the National League to a league-best 5.4 runs per game.
At the onset of free agency, the Mets held out slim hope that they could resgn the power-hitter since he initally sought a six-year deal. As the weeks went by without Cespedes flying off the market, his contract demands began to lessen and he kept open the possibility of returning to Citi Field on a shorter-term deal.
This week the Nationals threw their hat in the ring on the Cespedes sweepstakes, offering a lucrative five-year deal for him to join the Mets biggest rivals. With a crowded outfield of Jason Werth, Bryce Harper and Ben Revere, it's not clear exactly where Cespedes would have fit into that mix unless Washington traded one of its starting outfielders.
Mets ownership, led by Jeff and Fred Wilpon came under fire from the fan base for not signing any marquee free agents after an improbable run to the World Series. New York let second baseman Daniel Murphy join the Nationals during free agency and if Cespedes followed in suit, that could have spelled a major shift in the power balance of the NL East.
The Wilpon's financial trouble has been a major talking point since the Bernie Madoff scandal cost the Mets ownership group millions and forced them to cut costs and slash payroll.
After signing Cespedes, the Mets payroll climbed to approximately $140 million which is the highest its been since Omar Minaya was general manager back in 2008.