Reports are surfacing that Mets’ slugger Yoenis Cespedes is going to opt out of his contract and be able to declare free agency. The 31-year old Cuban outfielder signed a 3-year 75 million dollar contract with the Mets last winter. During the regular season he played in 132 games and posted a .280/.354./.530 slash line with 31 home runs and 86 runs batted in. Cespedes posted an .884 OPS in 543 plate appearances. Cespedes played most of his games in left field for New York and posted a WAR of around 3 wins. Cespedes would get around 27.5 million dollars for opting out.
Should the Dodgers go after Cespedes if he becomes a free agent? The answer to that is I think they should take a look at him. I get it. The Dodgers front office does not want to offer any type of long term commitment to free agents and is unilaterally against big contracts via free agency.
However the Dodger’s offense last season was mostly pathetic. The Dodgers ranked at the bottom of the league in the majority of the offensive categories and was the worst team in the majors in hitting against left handed pitching.
If we take a look at Cesepdes’ splits last year we see that he batted .341 against left handers and had an OPS of over 1.000. Cespedes has a career .827 OPS against left handed pitchers and has hit 39 home runs. Hitting left handed pitching is pretty important and the Dodgers are in need of a right handed hitting outfielder who can mash.
The Dodger lineup in 2016 was too left handed. There were not enough good right handed hitters with the exception of Justin Turner. The Dodgers need some balance from that side and Cespedes would be great. I know the cost would be high, but the club would be rewarded with one of the better offensive outfielders in the league.
Now if they could just figure out what to do with Yasiel Puig?