With negotiations between MLB and the Players Association finally showing some progress towards a new CBA, teams have finally begun to open their wallets and hit the market.
The New York Mets made the biggest splash, signing Yoenis Cespedes to a giant four-year, $ 110-million contract, giving the outfielder the second-highest AAV ever for a position player at $ 27.5 million (behind Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera‘s $ 31 million).
Here’s how Tuesday’s signings could shape the market:
Mets say goodbye to Bruce or Granderson
After bringing back Cespedes, the Mets now have a surplus of outfielders, including Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, Jay Bruce, and Curtis Granderson. Of the four, Bruce appears to be the most likely to be on the way out – the Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly making a push – though there is a chance Granderson could be moved instead, according to Newsday’s Marc Carig. The Mets still drastically need help in the bullpen, and it may just be a matter of who attracts the better offer.
Jay in, Fowler out
If you predicted Jon Jay signing a one-year, $ 8-million deal would be a game-changer, take a bow. While not a major signing by any stretch, Jay’s deal with the world champion Cubs all but ensured that Dexter Fowler will be in another uniform next April. Though Fowler will always have a place in Cubs lore, adding Jay into an already crowded outfield group would give Fowler very little playing time. The Jay signing could open up Fowler’s market, and a report Tuesday night indicated the Toronto Blue Jays have strong interest in signing the 30-year-old.
Cespedes helps set Encarnacion’s deal
The Mets giving Cespedes $ 110 million is sure to put a smile on Edwin Encarnacion‘s face. His agent, Paul Kinzer, said Tuesday that the 33-year-old has received two “serious” offers and expects to sign either later this week or next week; when he does sign, he should consider sending Cespedes a small thank you gift. Encarnacion rejected a reported four-year, $ 80-million offer from the Blue Jays earlier this winter, and that’s likely going to pay off for him since he’s widely considered the top hitter left on the open market. Expect Encarnacion’s payday to be big, likely above $ 100 million, and perhaps surpassing Cespedes in terms of total value when it’s all said and done.