Well, here we go; the hot stove is starting to fire up.

The Mets had been pretty interested in retaining Cespedes, and he seemed interested in sticking around, and it looks like both parties found a way to make it work even without waiting for the new terms of the CBA to be agreed upon.

At 4/$110M, Cespedes ends up effectively getting close to the deal everyone expected him to get last winter, when you factor in that he got $27.5 million for 2016 on his one-year deal. This is a little bit less than what our expected price was headed into the winter, as Cespedes settled on four years at a slightly higher AAV rather than pushing for a fifth year and getting the total guarantee up slightly. Here’s the blurb we included in our Top 50 free agent write-up, where Cespedes ranked #1 overall.

Contract Estimate
Type Years AAV Total
Dave Cameron 5 $24.5 M $122.5 M
Avg Crowdsource 5 $24.0 M $118.4 M
Median Crowdsource 5 $25.0 M $125.0 M
2017 Steamer Forecast
31 595 7.3% 21.1% .272 .330 .494 .346 116 12.4 -2.2 3.0

A year after getting rejected by the league, Cespedes is considered by most to be the best player on the market this winter. He followed up his 2015 offensive breakout with another strong year in Queens, and while his defensive performance took a dive while playing through a quad injury, his recent power spike shouldn’t be viewed with as much skepticism as it was last year. Of course, he’s still built like a linebacker and lower-half injuries are the kinds of things you don’t want to see from a guy who relies on athleticism for a good chunk of his value. So there’s still risk here, which is why we all seem to agree that a five-year deal is the best fit here, even for the top player available.

Criag Edwards went through Cespedes’ comparisons a few weeks back and found him to be worth something in the range of $100 million or so, so this seems like a perfectly reasonable investment for the Mets. He’s a good player, and this is what good players go for these days.

The question, of course, is what the Mets do now with an overcrowded outfield. With Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce under contract for significant money as corner outfield options, Michael Conforto around as a young player who should fit into a corner spot as well, and now Cespedes, the team is overflowing with left and right fielders. One or even two of those guys are probably leaving Queens now, so with Cespedes back in the fold, the Mets can figure out how to make their roster work again.