Eight hours after the final out of the World Series on Thursday, the first of many critical periods in the Major League Baseball off-season calendar began. Starting then, teams knew they had until Monday to extend a $17.2 million qualifying offer to any of their players eligible for free agency, who would then have a week to accept.Teams can exclusively negotiate with their pending free agents until a minute before Tuesday. If no deal is reached, the players may sign with anyone.Saturday, however, brought one of the most significant dates of the hot stove season: Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes exercised the opt-out clause in his contract ahead of a midnight deadline. He will forgo the $47.5 million and two years remaining on his contract, but given his strong 2016 season, many in baseball think Cespedes could draw offers of $100 million.During Cespedes’s year and a half with the Mets, his powerful bat helped carry them to the World Series in 2015 and to the National League wild-card game this season. He hit .280 with 31 home runs and a .884 on-base plus slugging percentage in 2016. The Mets would like to retain Cespedes and could employ the same strategy they used last off-season, when re-signing him initially appeared to be a long shot.Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson waited out the rest of the market, and Cespedes, who wanted to stay in New York, signed a three-year, $75 million deal in late January that included the opt-out clause.
Since it's all about the money and how much Lamborghini's this guy can buy, a part of me is tempted to say Hasta la vista to Cespedes. But frankly speaking, we need him...bad. Sandy Alderson and Mets ownership just have go to get this down and sign him to a longterm deal.