The Mets will make qualifying offers to both Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker today, according to ESPN. The deals are for $17.2 million this time around, and if each player accepts, he’ll a member of the Mets for another year. In the much more likely even that Cespedes and Walker decline the offers, New York can receive a compensatory draft pick should they sign with another team this offseason.
Cespedes is a lock to turn down the qualifying offer because he just opted out of a deal that was worth even more money. Walker’s situation is more complicated since he is coming off of back surgery in September, but as the most valuable second baseman in this year’s free agent class, he’ll command a multi-year deal on the open market.
Just because a player turns down the qualifying offer doesn’t mean the Mets can’t continue to negotiate with him. In fact, the Mets are expected to continue their pursuit of both Cespedes and Walker throughout the offseason since both players were productive during their time in New York and would be tough to replace either from within the organization or with other free agents.