I’ve taken a little time off from this blog to grapple with the current state of our world post-election. And while I’m still struggling to wrap my head around what has happened, I’m ready for much needed relief in baseball.
Except while the world was ending the week of November 7th, the news came down that Bartolo Colon, Big Sexy, the Mets elder ace, would no longer be back with the team in March. The Braves have offered Colon a 1 year deal for $12.5 million. I don’t know why Bart leaving surprised me so much. It makes perfect sense. The Mets starting four of young talent will be healthy and ready to go for Spring Training, and then there’s also Lugo and Gsellman, who last September proved more than capable of being able to pitch at a Major League level. If the Mets choose to keep them both, they have more than enough arms. Then there’s the legend of Zack Wheeler. The greatest pitcher who has yet to have been. It was a year full of set backs for Wheeler who was supposed to come up and pitch in mid-July/August for the Mets this year. Part of me even wonders if we’ll ever see him throw another major league pitch in a Mets uniform. But Mets fans can’t think about Wheeler at a time when their beloved Bart is leaving for the Braves. I’m really glad I didn’t pull the trigger on buying that “Big Sexy” Bartolo jersey.
There is some good news flowing down the Mets pipeline though. Neil Walker has accepted his qualifying offer and will be back at second base for one more year. Walker’s numbers were great for the Mets last season before his back injury and the Mets are hoping he can put up some of the same stats this time around.
The Blue Jays are reportedly interested in acquiring Jay Bruce from the Mets which could work in both teams favor. The Mets have a crowded outfield and seem hesitant to have Bruce be their power hitter after he didn’t produce the way they were hoping last season at the trade deadline. Both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion have rejected the Jays qualifying offers and could end up elsewhere next season. Bruce fits what the Jays are looking for in regards to an outfielder with some power. I would guess that the Mets would be looking for some bullpen options from the Jays.
So where does this leave Ces and the Mets? Based on some of what’s happened so far, it seems like the Mets could actually be setting themselves up to give Cespedes a 4 or 5 year deal. But based on the Mets track record, most will assume that they will some how mess this up and let him go. It’s not something I’ve completely ruled out either. Like most Mets fans I’ve learned the hard way that if I get my hopes up about something big, this team is likely to break my heart. So right now we’re all playing it super chill like the kid at the dance that doesn’t care if the most popular girl at school gives them the time of day. It seems like Cespedes likes New York. He thrives here, the fan base adores him, and he deserves to be paid for what he was able to do for the Mets these past two seasons. My only hope is that his love for New York and what Alderson is willing to offer will be just enough to get that last dance.