McDonald: Cespedes Signing Proves The Wilpons Can Spend

There’s two feet of snow on the streets, but it just got warmer out for Met fans.

Yoenis Cespedes is a Met. It’s where he wanted to be and at the contract length the Mets desired.

As first reported last week by NY Sports Day’s Rich Mancuso, Cespedes pushed his representatives to keep him in New York. He was comfortable here and wanted to be a part of what he started to build at the end of last year.

And to their credit, the Mets came through. Reportedly, Cespedes agreed on a three-year contract worth $75 million that also includes a one year opt-out.

So good for the outfielder for not being forced into a team where he didn’t want to play.

Good for Sandy Alderson who let showed patience and let the market come to him.

And good for the Wilpons, who stepped up with the checkbook at the right time.

For all the ink that has been written about the Met ownership’s finances, this proves they have money to sign the right players. Understand, the Mets are a privately owned corporation, so you don’t see their books. Everything out there is speculation and hypothesis, so you don’t know what kind of money they have.

Understand, though, they own about 67% of SNY, where the Mets are the main product. Every subscriber to a cable system with SNY in his or her bill pays the Wilpons some money every month. It’s a cash cow, so you have to think they have money if they want to spend it.

That being said, even if they have the cash, they probably want to spend it wisely. Since 2003, the Wilpons signed a number of long-team free agent contracts, and frankly, it’s tough to find one where they received full value through the life of the contract.

Sure you can point immediately to the stinkers, like Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez and Jason Bay, but Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, and Pedro Martinez had good years in the beginning and then they spent significant time on the shelf in the later years.

Heck, looking back, they may want a do-over on the David Wright contract considering the condition of his back.

The problem is this is the cost of doing business when it comes to free agents. Generally, you will get a good first few years and then you will see a decline. It’s not just the Mets, but it happens through all of baseball. Just ask the Steinbrenners if they would like look-backs on Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Jacoby Elsberry to name a few. It’s the risk you take when it comes to signing these players to big money.

After almost losing the team in the Madoff scandal, you can understand why the Wilpons are a bit gun-shy. It also helps them that Alderson is ever the cautious executive, who deliberately makes decisions on his terms.

But Cespedes is now back in Queens for at least the 2016 season. The payroll is close to $140 million and the Mets are now the favorites in the NL East.

You can thank Cespedes’s desire, Alderson’s patience, and the Wilpon’s trust to stick their toe back in the water.

April can’t get here fast enough.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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