Whether it’s a subpar postseason, continued grumbling about hustle or a number of other free agent outfielders making deals far earlier, it seems the market for Yoenis Céspedes might not be nearly robust enough to command the rumored $150 million, 6-year pact Roc Nation is demanding. As SB Nation’s Marc Normandin sees it, “there just might be too many outfielders left for him to get that contract.”
The Mets and Tigers, who both had Cespedes in 2015, are waiting around to see if he can be signed for less than that. In the Mets’ case, the “less than that” likely means a total collapse of his market and options outside of a return to New York. For the Tigers, it probably means getting the money and years low enough that the side of the front office that isn’t enamored with re-signing Cespedes is placated. The Tigers are reportedly looking for “complementary” outfielders at present, so they don’t seem to feel forced into giving Cespedes exactly what he wants.
Cespedes will sign eventually, but with Justin Upton, Dexter Fowler and Gerardo Parra out there, as well as potential rebound candidates who will cost far less, the where and when remain in question. It’s also possible that, even outside of his own contract demands, Cespedes has to wait around for the Orioles to finish one way or another with Chris Davis, since Upton is their fallback option and Davis is the most expensive free agent remaining. We might be about a month out from spring training, but there is still a whole lot of offseason left as far as free agents go.