Giants

Mets sign outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to three-year deal

cespedes-yoenis-mets-swing.jpg

Mets sign outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to three-year deal

Update: The Mets officially signed Cespedes to a three-year deal on Jan. 26, at 6:32 p.m. PT. New York confirmed the news through their official Twitter account.

* * *

The wait is over. Yoenis Cespedes is headed back to New York where he helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series upon his midseason arrival last year.

The Mets and Cespedes have reached an agreement on a three-year deal according to multiple national reports. Jim Bowden of ESPN first reported the two sides were making progress on a deal Friday night. 

Cespedes, 30, was looking for a long-term deal way north of $100 million this offseason. Instead, he agreed to an interesting one that still makes him one of the richest players annually in baseball history. 

The full deal agreed upon is for $75 million over three years, but includes an opt-out after one year. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was first to report the contract details.

[STIGLICH: A's Vogt learned respect for baseball, life from father Randy]

Though he agreed to a three-year deal, Cespedes could easily hit the free agent market again after this season. His $25 million average annual value ties the highest all-time for an outfielder, but he will make even more if he leaves after just one season. 

Cespedes will make $27.5 million in 2016, according to Jon Heyman. If he opts out after only one full season in New York, his $27.5 million would be the second-highest AAV ever for a position player. 

The one-time All-Star, with the Oakland A's in 2014 before being traded to the Boston Red Sox, had his best statistical season in 2015.

Between the Detroit Tigers and Mets, Cespedes hit .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 105 RBI. Since coming from Cuba in 2012, last season was the slugger's first with over 30 home runs. 

[RELATED: Krukow: If Belt, Giants go to arbitration, 'impossible not to have hard feelings']

Prior to Cespedes being traded from the Tigers to the Mets, New York's abysmal offense was one of the worst in the league. After, everything changed. 

Through July, the Mets scored 365 runs and hit 89 home runs. New York traded for Cespedes on July 31, and their offensive numbers from August to the end of the season flourished. 

From August to the end of the season, the Mets scored 318 runs and hit 88 home runs in 44 less games.

In 57 regular-season games played with the Mets, Cespedes hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI. He finished 13th in NL MVP voting and won an AL Gold Glove in the same season. 

Cespedes has played for four teams -- A's, Red Sox, Tigers and Mets -- in his four-year MLB career. 

 

 

Giants' Heliot Ramos could make MLB debut in 2020, Gabe Kapler says

Giants' Heliot Ramos could make MLB debut in 2020, Gabe Kapler says

The start to MLB's ramp-up to the season certainly hasn't gone smooth. Four Giants already have tested positive for the coronavirus, and workouts at Oracle Park were suspended Tuesday pending the results of tests conducted this past weekend. 

If there actually is a season this year, Giants fans could get a glimpse of their exciting future. Manager Gabe Kapler already has raved about 18-year-old Marco Luciano, catcher Joey Bart is set to learn another position to help his major-league chances in the near future and a 20-year-old outfielder could make his MLB debut this season. It certainly didn't take long for Heliot Ramos to impress Kapler.

"I'm never one to rule anything out, and Ramos has shown especially well in these first couple of days," Kapler said Monday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Ramos, the Giants' first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, might have been their most impressive prospect last year. He spent the entire season as a 19-year-old and made it all the way to Double-A Richmond. Through 77 games in Class A San Jose, Ramos hit .306 with 13 homers and 18 doubles before playing his final 25 games in Richmond. 

He only played two games with the big league club in spring training, but he did crush a two-run homer against the Colorado Rockies. On Monday, he opened eyes yet again with his approach at the plate. 

"He had another couple of good at-bats (Monday), just missed a hanging slider ... the whole camp kind of opened their mouths like, 'He really just missed putting that ball in the seats,' " Kapler said. "His engine is really incredible. Excellent bat speed, good throwing arm, smart kid, really great to have around." 

[RELATED: Giants could have some tough decisions with outfielders]

Ramos likely would have started the season in Triple-A Sacramento this year, or even played a few more games in Richmond. Now as he's part of the Giants' 60-man roster, he'll be in Sacramento at the Giants' sister site when the MLB season begins.

But at only 20 years old, Ramos could be in San Francisco playing for the Giants as soon as this season. 

"Wouldn't rule anything out," Kapler said. "Likelihood is there's probably a little more development there."

Why Gabe Kapler isn't worried about Giants suspending camp Tuesday

Why Gabe Kapler isn't worried about Giants suspending camp Tuesday

The Giants have spent weeks preparing for every possibility that might pop up during a spring training held at Oracle Park amid a continued coronavirus outbreak.

But there's one thing they could not have planned for, a hurdle nobody quite saw coming across the league. 

A missing FedEx truck. 

On Tuesday the Giants announced that their afternoon workout had been canceled because they are awaiting test results from Saturday. Manager Gabe Kapler said the Giants, like at least a half-dozen other teams, had issues relating to their courier who was supposed to take a round of COVID-19 tests to MLB's facility in Utah. Because the Giants did not have Saturday's results back, they were unable to take the field Tuesday.

A few players, mostly pitchers, were able to take part in a light workout in the morning before the staff made the decision to call off the day's activities. Kapler said he's confident Saturday's test results will come back Tuesday at some point, allowing the Giants to take the field as planned Wednesday. 

While some executives around the league have blasted MLB's handling of all this, Kapler was diplomatic, saying he has a "level of empathy for everybody" working hard to keep camps running across the league.

"Nobody expected this to be easy," Kapler said, "And everybody is doing the best that they can."

It will have to be better, though. Players already have a high level of distrust with the league and trepidation about playing this season, as Buster Posey made clear Saturday. Continued issues could lead to a wave of players opting out before the season even starts, and people across the game have said publicly the last couple of days that they need to see MLB clean up the process. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The issues started over the weekend when the A's were unable to hold a workout because their test results had been delayed by a lack of pickups over the holiday weekend. On Monday, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros had to cancel workouts because of delays for Friday's testing. The Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels also have had to push back workouts. 

Players are supposed to be tested every other day, and Kapler was hopeful that the process would get back on track quickly. The Giants had another round of testing Monday and hope to get that back Wednesday. Kapler was confident the protocols would be better figured out in the coming days. 

"I feel as confident today as I did yesterday," he said. "I understand that there's going to be hiccups along the way. I think our club does, as well. Our players and staff are included in that. I still have confidence for sure."

[RELATED: Three observations about Giants' schedule]

The Giants were supposed to hold their first intrasquad scrimmage on Tuesday. They had moved it up a few days because camp had been going well over the weekend, and there is some urgency to all of this. The Giants will open at Dodger Stadium on July 23, and while they have not had any known big leaguers test positive for COVID-19 -- four members of the organization have, overall -- there is very little time to get the healthy players ready. 

Kapler, though, focused on the positive. He said this would not be a significant setback, noting that it could be a needed break for players, coaches and support staff, most of whom rushed to San Francisco in the last two weeks and jumped right into a modified camp with extreme safety protocols. Kapler said the Giants would use this as a "mental recovery day."

"There's some benefit to that," he said.