With the Winter Meetings only a few days off, the Mets re-signed Yoenis Cespedes. In return, the outfield slugger promised to bring his team a World Series ring.
In the same fashion that LeBron James returned to Cleveland, Yoenis Cespedes re-signed with the New York Mets, promising a championship. Needless to say, if anyone can bring the Mets their first World Series title in over 30 years, it’s Cespedes.
“God willing, I will finish my career with this team. I have experienced [getting traded] several times. I didn’t like that feeling of just when I was starting to get comfortable with a team that I could be gone. So that was a very important part for me,” said Cespedes (via nypost.com)
Cespedes first came to the Mets via a trade with the Detroit Tigers. In exchange, the Tigers received Luis Cessa and the soon-to-be Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer. Fresh off of his first World Series appearance, Cespedes signed what turned out to be a a one-year, $27.5 million extension through 2016.
Yet, when the Mets lost the Wild Card game, Cespedes entered the offseason uncertain of his future in New York. Putting his mind at ease, he signed a four-year, $110 million extension with the Mets. Not to mention, his contract contains a no-trade clause, giving Cespedes unusual security through 2020.
Shortly after signing his extension, Cespedes promised the title-hungry franchise to bring them a World Series championship. Their last championship came against the Boston Red Sox in 1986 World Series. They forced a Game 7 after staving off elimination in Game 6 to win the title. Yet, the Mets have only reached the postseason six times over the last 30 years, including two World Series defeats.
Their most recent World Series appearance in 2015 against the Kansas City Royals. The starting rotation, which served them well during the regular season, crumbled against the Royals’ powerful offense. While the Mets lost the Fall Classic in five games, Cespedes struggled along with the rest of the team. He batted .150 with only one run, three hits and one RBI. One season later, they managed to squeeze into the postseason through in the Wild Card game. However, a three-run homer cut their second consecutive postseason run short.
“The last two years, give or take, in Mets history have been about winning. And it has been clear that when Yoenis Cespedes plays for the Mets, the Mets win,” said Sandy Anderson (via nypost.com)
Although they still seek a championship, the Mets can give Cespedes the majority of the credit for their recent playoff presence. On top of their incredible starting rotation (when healthy), Cespedes serves as the ignition for New York’s offense. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Mets are 110-79 with Cespedes in the lineup. Conversely, the team is 14-18 without Cespedes since he joined the Mets in 2015.
Cespedes also bears personal interest in his quest to win a World Series for the Mets. Five seasons into his career and the outfielder has yet to take home a championship ring. Prior to his 2015, Cespedes reached the postseason in 2012 and 2013 with the Oakland Athletics. However, they never made it past the ALDS on both occasions falling to his future employers in Detroit.