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Robles proves to be Cespedes' biggest recruiter

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Typically, David Wright is the one who makes recruiting calls for the Mets, texting free agents or welcoming new Draft picks. But when it came time to convince Yoenis Cespedes to return to New York, it was not Wright nor even a veteran who played the biggest role.

Instead, it was second-year relief pitcher Hansel Robles who fired off text after text to Cespedes, trying to convince him to re-sign with the Mets.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Typically, David Wright is the one who makes recruiting calls for the Mets, texting free agents or welcoming new Draft picks. But when it came time to convince Yoenis Cespedes to return to New York, it was not Wright nor even a veteran who played the biggest role.

Instead, it was second-year relief pitcher Hansel Robles who fired off text after text to Cespedes, trying to convince him to re-sign with the Mets.

"He's a good person," Robles said through an interpreter. "He's a good teammate. And I think it's a great bat to have this season. ... We're close friends and he was just a good teammate."

Video: Cespedes arrives at camp, hitting coach excited

Upon signing, Cespedes called New York his "home," saying he felt more comfortable in two months there than he did during two years in Oakland. Winning helped, of course, and Cespedes was a significant part of that, clubbing 17 homers during one 31-game span after his trade to the Mets. So Robles knew he didn't have to sell Cespedes on New York; he simply had to underscore what the outfielder already knew.

"Just sign here, whatever it winds up being, three to five [years], it will all work itself out," Robles recalled writing in a text message. "Just come back here, because you'll be happy here."

The reliever added that he most feared Cespedes signing with "Washington ... or the Yankees."

When Cespedes did finally return on a three-year, $75 million deal, Robles received the news via an email alert, immediately texting his friend once again. The two reunited last weekend at Tradition Field, where Robles was one of the first people Cespedes greeted upon entering the clubhouse.

"It was a mix of everything -- the fans, the front office, the coaches, teammates," Cespedes said of his return. "Everything was positive. [I] don't think any other team was going to offer that kind of atmosphere."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes, Hansel Robles