Talkin’ Baseball – Should We Try and Dump the Cespedes Contract?


Good morning.

We’ve all read the highly critical posts on Mack’s Mets by Peter Hyatt regarding Yoenes Cespedes.

I’ll save my thoughts to an answer here, but here’s your shot to talk down Peter or prop up any thoughts that the Mets should begin the process of dealing off the guy so many other teams decided they had enough of his drama (hint to my answer).
I know it’s a killer contract, but Cespedes has killer talent and could produce at least two quality ballplayers in an exchange.


Peter or Ces?          

Mack said –

Peter’s vitriolic approach to Cespedes has grown on me, as have his overall posting. I’m not sure how much ‘inside information’ he has on this issue, but he does seem to have an accurate beat to the ever dimming light of this once was declared the cure to the Mets problems in the future.

I do not think he is making up anything he is writing about; however, I do question some of his sources of information.

As you know, I want the Mets to rebuild. Immediately. And originally, I had Cespedes as one of the few ‘hands off’ players on this team.
I no longer have these beliefs. I like team harmony and will always trump drama with team acceptance. Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto fit this mold more for me and I’d do all I could to secure a seasoned and successful centerfielder, either through a trade here, a trade somewhere else, or free agency, to join them in the 2018 outfielder.

Michael Maar says –

            I'm totally against the idea of trying to trade Cespedes..  Never mind the fact that he has a full no-trade clause in his new contract.

The Mets knew exactly what they were getting themselves into when they signed Cespedes last Winter.  The judgement then was to favor Yo's enormous talent over his diva idiosyncrasies.  I agreed with that sentiment then, and I agree with it now.  Even if this season is shot, I'm fundamentally against any wholesale sell off as some panickers are tending toward.  Trade deGrom?  No way.  I put several other Mets in that same category, and to me Cespedes makes that cut.

I do believe the Mets should be sellers barring an incredible winning streak out of the gate for the 2nd half.  The pending free agents should be sold off to the highest bidder - Bruce, Duda, Walker and possibly others should all bring nice returns.  Once that's accomplished, the Mets can bring up their youngsters for 2nd half tryouts, and be well poised with payroll space (only $58MM committed for 2018 at this point) to make key additions at catcher, bullpen and other spots for 2018 without any need to clear Cespedes' salary.

As with many prima-donna talents, Yoenis Cespedes will never be a pleasant guy to have on a bad team.  Those types don't perform well without motivation - either a salary run or a pennant race.  Right now the Mets are bad, but I don't think they're far from being back in full contender mode next year, and Yoenis Cespedes still fits as the big right-handed bat in the middle of that plan.

Eddie Corona says –

            Really tough question... at best there are arguments for both keeping him and trading him... really it comes down to management and the Front office... are we going full rebuild then yes but don't stop there... trade a Degrom, Familia and anyone else who is older than 25... I don’t believe this is what will happen...  Will we be the big spenders it the Harper/Machado sweepstakes? I don't think this either... although we should be...

For these reasons, I say we keep him. It’s a large contract but nothing like those hitting the free agent market... we need a manager who will nurse that ego... maybe a Latin guy (a la Ozzie Guillen) who could relate and speak to him at his level...

Cespedes is sort of a Manny Ramirez type... It can get old but winning cures that... we need to produce...

Reese Kaplan says –

           Yoenis Cespedes tested the market after 2015 and didn't see much interest.  He tested it again after 2016 and Sandy Alderson bid against himself once again, but this time it was for a longer duration.
Now, given the anemic Murphy-less and Turner-less offense that he created, something had to be done to ensure the team could score more than 2-3 runs per game.  Cespedes proved again and again that when he was hot he was indeed something to behold.  He gave the kind of At-Bats formerly reserved for the likes of Mike Piazza, Darryl Strawberry and, to a lesser extent, Dave Kingman -- the kind of player who makes you stop what you're doing to see if the magic would happen yet again.  (Sorry, but David Wright never had this kind of cachet). 

Now that his antics have come to light yet again and he's not the one carrying the team towards a post-season appearance people are losing patience with his on-again, off-again dedication to playing hard.  Consequently, many are questioning whether or not he should be dealt away.

Of course, the debate is for naught because he has a full no-trade clause in his contract.  However, rules are made to be broken and it's theoretically possible that the Mets could kick in a few more quid to get Cespedes to waive it. 

The problem is that there are only a handful of offensive players in the game -- Hanley Ramirez, Joe Mauer, Robinson Cano, Albert Pujols, Jason Heyward, Miguel Cabrera -- earn more than he does.  Some of these contracts are bad ones for sure.  I don't think Cespedes falls into that category yet, but his ongoing leg issues will make him a tough sell even without the attitude.  Personally, I think if you let him know with the demise of David Wright he will be the face of the franchise then you build around him.  I honestly think the value you would get in return for him would pale next to what he could provide on the field.  Keep him.

Peter Hyatt says –


It's a good question though I am not as certain as to the answer as you may think I am.

I know some things I cannot post, and I have come a bit too close at times. 

We saw what a very hot Cespedes can do as in August 2015. 

Some of the stuff that is negative is worse than I write of.  The internal debate is fierce.  There may have been times that Terry Collins was unable to post a line up; repeatedly late, because he was forced to wait for Cespedes to inform him.  This stuff is really rough on a team. 

There are those who believe he is 32; not 31. 

Boston hated him in spite of his talent. 

Insiders worry about fan base in NY.  They also do not want to see him move on and finally hit 40 HRs, 100 RBIs and .290 in the National League. 

There may even be an internal feud where he does not like Conforto.  Conforto was elected to the All Star Game by peers. This is something that Ces would never get.

In spite of this year, Ces is a Gold Glover.  He simply refuses, at times, to hustle.  It makes some on the squad fume, while others, particularly young players, think he is to be emulated. 

He can carry a team.

He is called ***hole by some.

If we traded every head case, we would have lots of issues with winning. 
At this point, I don't know if talking to Cespedes would get through to him.  He is said to be incredibly fragile and stubborn beyond stubborn. 
I am told that if he does not heat up after the All Star break, do expect him to put himself on the DL.  If he heats up, he will be healthy. 

Teams are very slow to look upon him as a valuable piece to make a run for it now.  He may be best suited as a DH in the American League.  His workouts were, as ESPN gave us a glimpse, troublesome and some say it was NOT what the Mets ordered to be done, contrary to some reports blaming the team.  His legs are huge and doing the extreme numbers on the leg press was the opposite of what he needed, but it may be with the Mets management:  "there is no talking sense to him."  He believes he knows it all and then some.  This was what made Boston send him packing.  I don't know as much about the other teams but it is consistent with what media has touched upon. 

Two weeks ago, he hustled, beat out infield hit, slid and was dynamic all around. 

Then, it was as if he flipped a switch. 

When he is "on", he could be HOF type but he refuses. 

His "people" follow him and tell him, 24/7, how great he is.  I believe his fragility may even be understated.

I hope my material is not causing any of you to be angry.  I recognize that it is not popular, nor is it usual baseball talk. 

I would love to see a healthy and a bit humbled Cespedes in Left, Conforto in Center and Bruce in right.  This could be a 100 home run outfield, but Bruce is likely gone, Conforto a natural corner outfielder, and from what I hear, Cespedes' market would embarrass the Mets; with only inflated "desire" floated by his people. 

I don't see him bringing back value, and I see the Mets wanting to buy him out 2019.  


Thomas Brennan said...

I haven't thrown in the towel on Cespedes. I still hope he is at worst Albert Belle, who was worse personally and incredible offensively. If the Mets move him, he'll hit 50 and it will be another guy we'll regret losing.

Problem is, if I am wrong and the Cespedes woes continue long term, he will become untradeable. But unless someone knocks me over with a trade, I would hold my schnozz and keep him and cross my fingers.

I've seen too many years, most recently April thru July 2015, when non-Cespedes hitters could 1) not hit and 2) not hit at all in the clutch. I'd rather gamble on keeping his danger in the line up - when he is hot, the whole line up gets swagger, too.

Anonymous said...

I love the HRs but I would much rather a player sound in every facet of the game. He is immature and while his arm makes up for his defense/lack of hustle, it only goes so far. I have no idea who he likes/dislikes or behind the scenes make-up but he has been on a few teams to date. There really seems to be no leadership on this team that could govern itself and the management does not help. To me cespedes is like a girlfriend that when it's going good ,it's like a party but you are always walking on egg shells, waiting....

Anonymous said...

First off, This is not hindsight.

I was against the signing from the start. To me, there are too many inconsistencies in his game..he can carry a team on his back for a time, BUT then there are the injuries, the pouting, the lack of hustle, and just as important the example he sets to the younger players.

If we could bail out on this contract I would do it..keep Bruce in right, opens a spot in left for Conforto, see what Nimmo gives in center (another yelliich?) Lagares 4th

Mack Ade said...

Interesting comments.

Most of the Mack's Mets writers chose not to participate on this question, but I believe that David Rubin has a post on this subject coming up before noon.

Eddie Corona said...

question is fascinating... best question is what would we actually get for him... Teams were not lining up for him when he was available for just money...

BTW who is going to comment on the Qiuntana deal? Are you telling me we could not have jumped in on that type of offer for one of our guys...

Thomas Brennan said...

Eddie, I would have traded Matz for what the White Sox got back - do you agree?

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

I talk up the Quintana trade on Monday morning...

LongTimeFan1 said...

Why bother writing about a trade that will never happen knowing he has full no trade clause; strongly wants and needs certainty in his living situation; and is an injury prone, mobility-compromised, aloof, stubborn, excessively muscled, 30-something y.o. problem that few, if any teams would want even without no-trade clause?

The Mets are stuck with him. This whole discussion to the contrary - trading him - is thus only an intellectual exercise with no chance of consummating in the real world.

The better question is what can be done to get through to Cespedes to change his ways starting with getting back into baseball shape rather than body building killing his upper and lower body mobility in all aspects of the game.

Gary Seagren said...

This is really outside the box and Sandy would run to the door screaming but the news about the Fish maybe trading Stanton and/or Yelich to the Phils brings up this question: would any of you take on Stanton and his contract for Cespedes as it should be a straight up deal with us taking on the rest of his contract and it would free up $$$ for the Fish before their sale and still leave them with a fan favorite and Miami is probably a place Cespedes would wave his no trade provision. Thoughts please.

Thomas Brennan said...

Gary, Stanton for Yo is intriguing. The Mets after Wright might blanche at such a long, expensive contract, though. And understandably - SO MANY players start to fade around 33 or 34, and his runs to 38 or 39. And we know the Mets - if they sign hi,, who are they NOT signing because the budget is hit already?

Someone will grab him, that's for sure. If it were me, I think I would do it, though.

Mack Ade said...

LongTermFan1 -

I have an idea.

Your comments seem to always be highly critical of what is written here, especially trade suggestions.

Since I assume you feel what is right and what is wrong to write about on my site, why don't you become a writer here and teach us all how to do this?


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