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Baseball Daily Dose

Dose: Cespedes Opts Out

by Nathan Grimm
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

If baseball is indeed dying, as has been forecast for years, then someone needs to tell Yoenis Cespedes.

 

The stove is downright piping, so be sure to keep refreshing Rotoworld's constantly-updating player news page for all the latest. And while you're at it, follow @Rotoworld_BB and @nate_grimm if you are on Twitter.

 

In what is perhaps the best indication that baseball is doing anything but dying, the 31-year-old on Saturday opted out of his contract with the Mets -- leaving a guaranteed $47.5 million on the table in the process -- to be a free agent for the second straight winter. Cespedes was due to make $23.75 million for each of the next two seasons prior to exercising his option.

 

The move, which seems crazy on the surface, should prove profitable for the left fielder in a weak free agent class. Cespedes immediately leaps to the top of the class, edging Edwin Encarnacion for the top spot. Those two, and perhaps Jose Bautista, represent arguably the only impact bats available, and while the class is strong in late-inning relief options, there is hardly a starting pitching market of which to speak.

 

As such, Cespedes should earn a payday of nine figures, even with draft pick compensation expected to be attached to him. The Mets have until Monday to extend a $17.2 million qualifying offer to Cespedes.

 

Cespedes set himself up for the big payday by hitting .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI this past season. It was the second consecutive season he's hit 31 or more homers, setting a personal best with 35 during the 2015 season.

 

There are few teams that shouldn't have at least passing interest in Cespedes' services, including the team he just left, the Mets. A clearer market should develop in the coming weeks, but it might be months -- Cespedes re-signed with the Mets after the new year, on January 26, this past winter -- before we know where he'll be playing in 2017.

 

The only thing we do know is that he'll be getting paid handsomely to do it.

 

Managerial Moves

 

Two National League West teams have identified the managers who will be leading them into battle next season.

 

The Diamondbacks are holding a press conference Monday to introduce former Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as their new manager, and longtime Padres manager Bud Black will be tapped as the new skipper for the Rockies on Monday as well.

 

Lovullo was viewed as a frontrunner for the job from the beginning due to his ties to new Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen. The two worked in Red Sox system, and Lovullo, 51, has been strongly considered for other managerial jobs in recent years.

 

“I think the Diamondbacks are very lucky to have him as their manager,” former Diamondbacks infielder Aaron Hill told the Arizona Republic. “I’ve had a few texts from (Diamondbacks) players already and I told them I couldn’t say enough good things about him. He’s a great guy, a great person and an intelligent baseball man. And he deserves to be a manager.”

 

It will be Lovullo's first major league managerial job after spending the last six years as a bench coach for Red Sox manager John Farrell. Before that, Lovullo was a minor league manager for nine years.

 

The other side of the coin is Black, who spent parts of nine seasons as manager of the Padres before being fired in the middle of the 2015 season. Black has a career .477 winning percentage at the helm and was the 2010 National League Manager of the Year.

 

“I’m really excited and really happy to hear the news,” third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “I think this can be a huge plus for us. I don’t know Bud personally, but I have heard great things about him. I’ve already talked to some of his former players from San Diego and all I’ve heard is great things about him.”

 

Both managers have their work cut out for them in a competitive NL West. Both are also inheriting flawed but talented rosters capable of performing better than their 2016 finishes. It should be a contentious and entertaining season out west.

 

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