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Yoenis Cespedes rejects the Mets’ qualifying offer

As expected, the outfielder is testing the free agent waters.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

While certainly not unexpected, it is now official: Yoenis Cespedes has rejected the Mets’ qualifying offer for his services in 2017. Cespedes, who signed a three-year deal with the Mets last offseason, took his contractual opt-out after the World Series this year. Declining the qualifying offer was little more than a formality, as Cespedes would have made considerably more if he had just not opted out of his contract in the first place.

The 2017 qualifying offer was set at $17.2 million dollars. If Cespedes had not opted out, he would have made $23.75 million dollars in both 2017 and 2018.

By extending to Cespedes the qualifying offer, the Mets would now receive draft pick compensation if Cespedes signs elsewhere in the offseason.

While this may sound like bad news to folks hoping that Cespedes is a Met next season and beyond, it really isn’t. The two sides are still said to be negotiating, and while there are varying reports as to how many suitors Cespedes has and how much he wants to return to the Mets, there’s no real news here. Don’t hit the panic button just yet, Mets fans.

Sandy Alderson stated that the team hopes to get the Cespedes contract situation resolved by the winter meetings, which begin on December 4 in National Harbor, Maryland.