Selling one of your top sluggers sounds crazy. That is, unless you're the Detroit Tigers, who are currently in the "rebooting" phase of their season. On Friday, after trading away staff ace David Price and closer Joakim Soria, the Tigers shipped Yoenis Cespedes off to the Mets, according to Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM and confirmed by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The teams have announced the deal.
In exchange, the Tigers will receive two right-handed minor league pitching prospects -- Michael Fulmer, currently in Double-A, and Luis Cessa who is at the Triple-A level. Fulmer fits in as a Tigers top 10 prospect, Cessa a top 20 prospect.
It's been noted around the league that the Tigers would be willing to trade Cespedes this season, only to bring him back in 2016. Cespedes is a free agent next season, but his is a special case as he can't receive a qualifying offer for a compensation pick. This all being despite the fact he has less than six years of major league experience.
Reason being that when the Oakland Athletics signed Cespedes as a free agent out of Cuba, they took a significant gamble that he would be major league ready, inserting him into their lineup right away -- and it worked. Cespedes' contract requires that he be released after the season without the qualifying offer.
The Mets will retain exclusive negotiating rights for the first five days following the conclusion of the 2015 World Series. After that, they can't negotiate with Cespedes until May 15, 2016. The Tigers, however, along with the rest of MLB, would be able to pursue him as a normal free agent this winter.
This season, Cespedes is batting .293/.323/.506 with 61 RBI, 18 home runs -- including eight that have come in July -- and 62 runs scored in an MLB-high 102 games.
Cespedes has been not only been one of the top hitters in baseball this year, he's also a premier defender. Teams rarely run on him as a result of his ability to throw runners out at the plate when attempting to score.
He is tied for the third-most doubles in the American League, has nine assists -- sixth-most in the AL for an outfielder -- and has 11 defensive runs saved, the most of any left fielder in the majors.
It appears long-time Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld was a fan of the trade:
SB Nation presents: The Mets' last attempt at making a deal didn't go so well