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With Yoenis Cespedes locked down, the Mets outfield is more than full

Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes the state of the outfield in Queens, the latest CBA negotiations, and a potential new home for Edwin Encarnacion.

Minnesota Twins v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

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The first big free-agent signing of the offseason is here, but there’s no team switching necessary: Yoenis Cespedes has decided to stay with the New York Mets, for four years and $110 million. After rumors last week that Cespedes wanted a longer and more expensive contract than the team would be willing to offer, the Mets managed to net him for just about what they reportedly wanted—which is still the most expensive free-agent signing in team history. And it’s worth it, allowing the Mets to keep their best hitter and one of their biggest superstars in Queens through his 34th birthday.

Exciting as the signing is for the Mets, it does leave them with one issue: What do they do with all their outfielders? The plan is reportedly to have Cespedes in left field, which then gives them five players to fill their other two outfield spots. Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo are all still around; of the five, Granderson and Lagares are most credible in center field. That gives the Mets one other corner outfield spot and more than one guy to fill it. So who’s most likely to get traded?

Bruce stands out as an easy choice. He certainly didn’t make much of a positive impression after being traded to the Mets at the deadline, as his first-half stat line of .267/.315/.538 melted into a second-half .226/.301/.462. Though the team picked up the one-year option on his contract earlier this winter, that seems to have been as insurance in the event that they couldn’t keep Cespedes, as early reports indicate that they’re certainly open to parting with Bruce now. While he’s perhaps the most obvious choice for the trading block, he’s not the only one, as Granderson is also drawing interest. Either way, this isn’t such a bad problem to have, and it’s definitely a far-better situation than any imaginable one without Cespedes.