When Yoenis Cespedes was hitting 17 home runs in two months for the Mets last year, it was hard to imagine that he'd have to wait this long for a 2016 contract. Yet here we are with Cespedes still unsigned due to a postseason slump, concerns about the slugger's intangible value, and New York's own unwillingness to offer a five-year deal.
The exact market for Cespedes remains unclear, but the Nationals are indeed pursuing the slugger, according to major-league sources.
The Nats bid a reported $200 million for Jason Heyward earlier in the offseason before the outfielder signed an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Cubs.
More recently, they made a late run at Justin Upton, offering him a shorter term than he received in his six-year, $132.75 million contract with the Tigers, sources said.
Even after trading for Ben Revere to team up in center field with the 24-year-old Michael Taylor, Washington seems to be looking for another outfielder. The deal they are offering Cespedes is for less than what Upton got from the Tigers according to Rosenthal. That fits in nicely with his previous story that a contract for five years and $120 million would be enough to land Cespedes.
If the Nationals do sign Cespedes for that amount, it wouldn't go over too well with Mets fans, who are already frustrated by ownership's unwillingness to commit to long-term deals. Plus, the rival Nats have already signed another of New York's 2015 heroes in Daniel Murphy.