NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It might be a long shot, but it’s not impossible that Yoenis Cespedes could return to the Mets in 2016, CBSSports.com/WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman said Wednesday.
Heyman told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts that he’s heard the Mets are staying in contact with the slugger.
A free agent, Cespedes has yet to sign a long-term, big-money contract with another team. The Mets appear to be open to working out a two- or three-year deal with him if he doesn’t find the deal he’s seeking elsewhere, Heyman said.
“I think the Mets are doing the right thing staying in touch,” Heyman said. “They’re probably bottom feeding. They’re probably just nibbling around, and it’s probably a hundred-to-one shot. But they’re one of the teams that’s still in touch.
“To me, he’s a guy (who) brings a jolt to the franchise — the power, speed, arm. He’s a star.”
Heyman said he finds it surprising that three teams were offering at least $180 million to sign outfielder Jason Heyward, now a Cub, but Cespedes and Justin Upton, who Heyman considers better players, are still on the market.
Just last week, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson downplayed the possibility of Cespedes returning to Queens.
“Look, we know that Cespedes was instrumental to us getting to the postseason,” he told reporters. “We know Daniel Murphy was instrumental in us getting to the World Series. But I think along the way we learned a few things about ourselves, about the team, and I think the way we approached the offseason, we put some of those lessons into play.”
The Mets struck a trade-deadline deal with Detroit in July to bring Cespedes on board. He instantly gave the team’s lagging offense the infusion it needed, batting .287 with 17 homers and 44 RBIs in 57 games.
Cespedes, 30, however, went cold during the postseason, especially in the NLCS and World Series, in which he hit .194 with no home runs.
The White Sox, Orioles, Giants and Angels are among the teams rumored to be interested in Cespedes.