After being traded by the Detroit Tigers to the New York Mets prior to the trade deadline, Yoenis Cespedes has been a legitimate MVP candidate. In 41 games for the Mets, he has hit .309 with 17 home runs and 42 RBIs. His OPS is over 1.000 for New York, and he has propelled their franchise to new heights.
Cespedes has bounced around the league since coming up with the Oakland A’s, but has been a consistent bat with power everywhere he goes. He also features a good glove with a cannon for an arm. He becomes a free agent after this season and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports says, “The Braves could be one of the teams that pursues Cespedes in free agency, according to a source with knowledge of the club’s thinking”
The report does not come as a huge surprise, as most people felt the Braves were going to make some free agent acquisitions this offseason. However, the magnitude of investing in a guy like Cespedes could be risky considering the Braves’ current situation and how far away they are from being legitimate contenders. Cespedes was already going to be a hot commodity in free agency before this season. However, now it is going to take a king’s ransom to sign the Cuban product.
With that being said, Cespedes is having the best year of his career with the Mets. A factor that could make him more attractive to the Braves is he is having this type of success in the NL East. He has crushed national league pitching, and has taken the Mets from a team with promise to World Series contenders.
Cespedes may be worth the money, but if he continues to play like this throughout the playoffs, he will likely be out of the Braves price range. The Braves reportedly have about $25-30 million to spend this offseason and Cespedes could be the big name selling out Suntrust Park in 2017. Left field has been a rotating door in 2015 for the Braves, and Cespedes could be the last power bat the Braves need. Hector Olivera will play a big part in the team’s offense in 2016, and having the two Cubans on the same team could make the Braves a very desirable team for Cuban defectors.
The Braves’ payroll is limited, and they have had to strip their team of everything and start from scratch due to Dan Uggla and Melvin Upton Jr.’s faulty deals. Therefore, the team has little room for error. If they invest the type of money that could lure Cespedes here, they have to think he is the guy. Cespedes has turned the New York offense around seemingly single-handedly and could offer the same boost to the Braves. They can probably write the check if they need to, but they have to be sold on Cespedes as their star player to make that type of financial commitment.