The New York Mets have re-signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com first reported Friday night.
Cespedes agreed to a three-year, $75 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The deal includes an opt-out after one season and a full no-trade clause. If Cespedes does opt-out, he will make $27.5 million over a single season, the second-highest annual average value for a position player ever.
It was quite a saga for Cespedes, who may have been extremely close to signing with the Nationals on Thursday. Numerous teams showed interest along the way, but the sweepstakes came down to the two National League East rivals.
Cespedes reportedly wanted to return to New York, though the team was unwilling to offer him the five-year deal he coveted. Now, Cespedes gets a mid-range deal, but could hit the free agent market again next offseason anyway.
One interesting factor in this deal is the fact that it contains no deferred money.
The Nationals reportedly offered Cespedes a five-year deal for about $100 million, but with a lot of deferred money, thus lowering the present day value of the contract due to inflation over time.
So, Cespedes might end up getting a larger sum of money in this deal with New York than what he would have got with Washington.
If (and when) Cespedes opts-out next offseason, he will be in line to make much more money. Cespedes will be one of the best position player free agents in a weak market. He should be able to get the long-term deal he was seeking this offseason.
For the Mets, re-signing Cespedes comes as a welcome sight to fans who believed that the team was pinching pennies. The team was the National League champion last year and Cespedes was a big part of that. He is a middle-of-the-order impact bat.
The 30-year-old Cespedes hit for a .291/.328/.542 slash line with 35 home runs and 105 RBIs in 676 plate appearances with the Tigers and Mets last season. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 6.7 Wins Above Replacement.
While the total guarantee does not look like a lot as compared to other outfielders, Yoenis Cespedes may have found the most creative deal on the 2016 free agent market.