Yoenis Cespedes has agreed to return to the Mets, so brace yourselves for an encore of epic proportions
While you were shoveling your driveway out from underneath the wrath of Winter Storm Jonas, or out enjoying the start of the weekend, the Mets were busy locking up the middle of their lineup by re-signing Yoenis Cespedes. Yo and the Mets have reportedly agreed on a three-year $75 million contract that includes an opt-out clause after the 2016 season.
After a stint with the Mets that began at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season, Cespedes left himself with massive shoes to fill. All he did after joining the Mets was hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 home runs in 57 games, breathe life into the team's lineup, propel them to the postseason and come through in the clutch to help them earn a World Series berth.
While that might make it seem like Cespedes has a high bar to hurdle, the best way to accomplish a goal is to envision accomplishing that goal so that it feels so real you could just reach out and grab it. With that in mind, we thought of a few things Cespedes might be able to do in order to make his encore with the Mets as entertaining as his original performance.
1. Win the Home Run Derby
No Met has ever won this particular feat of strength, but Cespedes already has two such titles sitting on his mantel. By winning the 2016 Derby in San Diego, Cespedes would also be just the second three-time champion in the event's history (Ken Griffey Jr. won it in 1994, '98 and '99).
2. Make an appearance on "Sesame Street"
The only way Cespedes could one-up his connection to the bird population would be to appear on "Sesame Street" to help Big Bird learn how to hit a curve ball or throw a runner out at the plate.
3. Actually replicate his numbers from his 2015 run with the Mets
This is what that would look like: .287/.337/.604, 48 HR, 11 3B, 39 2B, 125 RBI, 39 BB, 11 SB and 11 OF assists. Now, small sample size tells us that that's near impossible, but then that's exactly what his showing last year semed like, too.
4. He could win a Gold Glove Award and actually do it for the Mets
That play is from last season, and it's particularly relevant because after Cespedes helped lead that incredible World Series run for the Mets, he won a Gold Glove Award for the Tigers. Baseball's weird sometimes, man. If he could pull it off, Cespedes would be the fourth Met in franchise history to win a Gold Glove Award as an outfielder (Tommie Agee in 1970, Carlos Beltran just about every year I was in college and Juan Lagares in 2014).
5. Set the MLB record for most outfield assists in a game
Cespedes has a hose and we all know it. You know it, I know it, he knows it, the third-base coaches sending runners to try to score know it and the runners actually trying to score know it too. Still, he manages to hose guys at the plate with consistency and it's high time he carve himself out a spot in the record books. The record stands at 4 (multiple players tied), so all Yo has to do is hose five runners in a game. Piece of cake.
6. Win the NL MVP Award
In 2015 it took Cespedes just 57 games to earn himself 24 points in NL MVP voting. Imagine what he could accomplish in 162, and how pumped Mets fans would be to celebrate the first MVP in franchise history.
7. Actually take Jerry Seinfeld out for sandwiches
Back when the "a Cespedes for the rest of us" movement was just getting its legs underneath it, comic icon and lifelong Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld asked Cespedes a question about Cuban sandwiches and the slugger responded by asking him out to lunch. If they actually went out to lunch in New York, the universe as Mets fans know it might just fold in on itself.
8. Help the Mets win the World Series
Let's face it: Yo could hit .198 on the season with exactly zero home runs, but if the Mets somehow managed to make the postseason and he had one clutch hit that helped put them over the top and bring a title back to Flushing, he'd never have to buy a drink in New York ever again.