Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Washington Nationals’ front office will have to look elsewhere for an outfield bat if they were interested in adding Yoenis Cespedes as rumored again this winter.
According to multiple reports, the free agent decided to return to the Mets on what is said to be a 4-year/$110M deal after opting out one year into the 3-year/$75M deal he signed with New York last winter and turning down a 1-year/$17.2M qualifying offer.
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal was first (I think) with the reports of the deal between the Mets and the outfielder this afternoon:
Sources: Cespedes back to #Mets.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 29, 2016
Cespedes deal is 4 yrs, $110M with #Mets— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 29, 2016
Cepedes gets a full no-trade clause #mets— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 29, 2016
Rizzo told reporters, including New York Post writer Joel Sherman, earlier this month that he has always been impressed with Cespedes when watching the slugger play for the opposition:
“When [Cespedes] played for the Mets, the guy scared me. He’s a really good offensive player. He’s a really good two-way player. He is a middle-of-the-lineup bat. He improves any team he plays for.”
Washington reportedly offered Cespedes a 5-year/$110M deal last winter, before he returned to New York, though the offer reportedly included a good deal of deferred money.
No word on how seriously the Nationals pursued the outfielder this winter, if at all.
After he signed with the Mets in late January 2016, Cespedes told reporters he was never serious about signing in D.C. last winter.
“I was never close to signing with the Nationals,” Cespedes told ESPN’s Adam Rubin, through an interpreter.
“From the start I was pushing my agent because I wanted to come back to the Mets.”
So that’s one big outfield option off the table if the Nationals are indeed determined to add a bat this winter.
Where do Rizzo and Co. turn as they continue to try to upgrade the outfield?