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Mets aren't crazy for giving Yoenis Cespedes $27.5 million per year

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Car dealerships around New York better get ready to pop some champagne, because Yoenis Cespedes just got paid. The 31-year-old outfielder returned to the New York Mets again, but he’s in for the long haul this time around, signing a four-year, $110 million deal.

Cespedes was considered the best player on the market, so everyone knew he was in line to make a ton of money. He’s coming off a strong offensive year in which he hit .280/.354/.530 and, at age-31, he’s younger than the other elite hitters available.

Because of that, Cespedes’ new deal will average $27.5 million per year over the next four years. If that seems like a lot of money, that’s because it is:

Yeah. Only one position player in baseball, Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, will make more than Cespedes on a yearly basis.

You probably don’t need more proof that Cespedes just made a ridiculous amount of money, but it’s always fun when you can compare any deal to Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $275 million contract.

Given how much money is being paid out here, we would expect many to quickly scream “overrated,” or “he’s not worth it.” But given all the factors at play here, that’s not really the case.

Look, $27.5 million is a ton of money, but it’s not all that out of line in baseball. Chris Davis, for example, will average $23 million over his seven-year, $161 million with the Baltimore Orioles and he can’t provide the same caliber of defense in the outfield. Salary costs rise every year, so this really shouldn’t be surprising.

The Mets may have paid a lot, but the Yoenis Cespedes deal makes sense. (Getty Images/Elsa)
The Mets may have paid a lot, but the Yoenis Cespedes deal makes sense. (Getty Images/Elsa)

But, on top of all that, Cespedes’ deal is only for four years. That’s actually pretty significant in this case. The Mets will have him through his age-34 season. And while that’s not exactly young, it’s plausible Cespedes will retain most of his value over that period. Jose Bautista, for example, remained a tremendous hitter through his age-34 season.

Turning 35 doesn’t suddenly guarantee a player will drop off a cliff, but that concern gets bigger with every passing year. It’s not impossible, but it’s pretty rare to see a 37-year-old at the top of most offensive categories. The Mets should avoid that fate with Cespedes.

If that means giving him the second-highest annual salary among position players, so be it. Cespedes is an excellent player right now, and should continue to be over the next couple seasons. In that light, the deal makes sense.

For some, though, the sticker shock of seeing $27.5 million might be too much to bear. To those fans, we just ask that you wait until Cespedes shows up at spring training with the most ridiculous, tricked-out car you’ve ever seen. At that point, you’ll understand he was well worth the money.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik