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Yoenis Cespedes opts out, and free agency truly begins

Sunday’s Say Hey, Baseball focuses on Yoenis Cespedes officially entering the free-agent market. Plus, Anthony Rizzo twerked on national TV last night. Seriously.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

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Now that the Cubs have had their parade and the reality of the curse finally being over is starting to set in, it’s time for another form of reality to take hold for the other 29 clubs across the major leagues -- it’s time for the offseason to get underway. There has already been a flurry of roster moves and transactions since the final pitch of the World Series was thrown, but a pretty big domino has been set up when it comes to the free-agent market. Of course, I’m talking about Yoenis Cespedes and his decision to test that market.

This has been a rumor for a fair amount of time now, but Cespedes made it official yesterday, with Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports being the first to share the news. The 31-year-old outfielder was set to make $47.5 million over the final two years of his deal, but he’ll probably be making more than $100 million over the life of the next deal that he signs. He didn’t match the excellent season he had in 2015, but a player who can put up a slash line of .280/.354/.530 with 31 homers and give you 3.2 fWAR (which is what Cespedes did last season) will be welcome in any locker room in baseball. So Cespedes will have his fair share of suitors this winter.

The main question is whether or not he’ll leave New York for supposedly greener pastures. Despite the fact that he’s opted out, the Mets still figure to have a decent shot at re-signing Cespedes. Though you have to figure that teams with deep pockets and high aspirations (such as these three teams suggested by The Sporting News) are going to be the ones who set the market here, the Mets are probably going to fight pretty hard to keep him. It’ll take a long contract and big money to do so, but if the Mets are planning to keep on battling with the Nationals in the NL East, then holding on to Cespedes should be one of their priorities.


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