In the wake of the news that free agent first baseman Chris Davis has agreed to terms with the Baltimore Orioles on a long-term deal, multiple reports suggest that the team is still interested in signing outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Although the Orioles already made a contract offer to Cespedes, the New York Mets are reportedly not out of the picture yet.
The offer that Baltimore made to sign the free agent outfielder is believed to be worth $90 million spread across five years, according to sources cited by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. However, another possible deal arrangement is also on the table; this time, it involves a one-year deal to return to New York and then become a free agent again after the 2016 season.
The Mets are only interested in giving Cespedes a short-term deal, the New York Times noted. A formal offer has yet to be presented to the Cuban baseball player, but the Mets have been in contact with his agents.The Times pointed out that the obvious risk when it comes to signing him is that he might have a poor season or suffer a significant injury. As such, Cespedes could just agree to a one-year contract with the intention of proving his worth and arrange for a bigger deal in free agency next year.
This supposed move to acquire Cespedes comes immediately after reports that have surfaced over the weekend suggesting that the Orioles and Davis agreed to a seven-year contract worth $161 million, pending a physical examination
Davis, 29, has delivered promising performances in the American League East since he joined the Baltimore Orioles back in 2011. In 92 games, he has 23 home runs and 71 R.B.I. against the New York Yankees. That is Davis' greatest R.B.I. total against any team and his second-most home run in his professional career.
The 30-year-old Cespedes, meanwhile, has lasted longer on the free agency than most have expected after helping lead the New York Mets to the NL East title and the World Series last year. In 57 games following his trade from the Detroit Tigers to the Mets, he hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 homers and 44 RBI. Moreover, he hit .291/.328/.542 with 35 homers and 105 RBI for the entire season.
While there are some who may think that pursuing Cespedes is a sign that the Orioles are done with Davis, there are also those who see the move as a strategy to force Davis into making a decision. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun argues that it seems unlikely the Orioles would follow up an apparent $161 million expenditure for Davis with another giant contract for a position player like Cespedes. Instead, it is possible that the Cuban outfielder and his representatives will decide to accept a one-year contract and wait for next year to seek a more lavish multi-year deal.