Contract Forecast: Yoenis Cespedes

Contract Forecast: Yoenis Cespedes
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Extension Projection: Yoenis Cespedes

The "player the Mets got instead of Carlos Gomez" has quickly and somewhat magically turned himself into the talk of the league since his trade to Queens on July 31st. Yoenis Cespedes has instantly become the leader of the Mets lineup, and one of the most clutch players in the game through the 2nd half of the 2015 season. Since the trade, Cespedes has posted 53 hits, 10 doubles, 3 triples, 16 homeruns, 41 RBIs and a .308 average in 40 games. An MVP-esque stretch.

His timing couldn't be better, as the Mets are on their way to a division title - and Cespdes' contract is on its way to expiring. His value has never been higher, and many feel his fit in the Mets lineup should make it a no-brainer to pay the bucks going forward.. We'll assess Cespedes statistically, comparing him to other top outfielders in the game who've recently signed extensions to formulate a projection for what his next contract might look like.

Comparable Outfielders
To generate a prediction the Spotrac team determined that the following outfielders were viable targets to use in comparing with Cespedes. The key was to locate players with similar numbers, who signed their extension around his current age (29). To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract breakdown listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Ryan Braun (2008-2015) 5 $105,000,000 $21,000,000 27
Adam Jones (2013-2018) 6 $85,500,000 $14,250,000 28
Matt Kemp (2012-2019) 8 $160,000,000 $20,000,000 27
Josh Hamilton (2013-2017) 5 $125,000,000 $25,000,000 32
Averages 6 $118,875,000 $19,812,500 28.5
At 29 years old, Cespedes is younger and older than some of our varaibles. We'll adjust the contracts to the age of 29 to provide a better scope for our base prediction.

Related:  View the list of Top Average Paid Outfielders in MLB
Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
5 $93,625,000 $18,453,333

Statistical Comparisons
We'll assess our variables and Cespedes statistically over the two seasons prior to their signing using the following categories: Games Played, Hits Per Game, Home Runs per Game, Strikeouts Per Game, Runs per Game, RBIs per Game, and Batting Average.
Ryan Braun (2008-2015) 154.5 1.25 .17 .72 .68 .68 .314
Adam Jones (2013-2018) 106.3 1.09 .18 .77 .54 .52 .280
Matt Kemp (2012-2019) 158.5 1.07 .21 1.02 .62 .67 .288
Josh Hamilton (2013-2017) 71 1.12 .24 .93 .66 .81 .287
AVERAGES 122.58 1.13 .2 .86 .63 .67 .290
Yoenis Cespedes (2012-2015) 147 1.11 .19 .86 .63 .69 .277
% Change 19.92% -1.77% -5% 0 0 2.99% -4.48%
Median Prime % Change 0
Average Prime % Change: 1.66%
Cespedes' production basically averages out here when comparing to our variables across the board. Hitting for a little less average and a little less power (though not lately). We'll factor both of these figures into our work below.


Length of the Contract
At 29 years old age is a bit of a red flag - but recent signings have shown that franchises are handing out the money regardless. The average length of our variables contracts was 6 years - a nice round number to work with here.

Value of the Contract

Over the past two seasons in total, Cesepdes is averaging 164 hits, 93 runs, 37 doubles, 28 home runs, 101 RBIs and a nearly .280 batting average. He's also had 22 outfield assists and a 977 fielding percentage over that span. In other words he's producing on just about every level right now. He's also looking for a home. His stint with the Mets makes it 4 teams in 2 years for Yoenis, though he's never looked as comfortable in a lineup as he does right now in New York.


The bottom line here is numbers breed dollars in MLB, and nobody's been on the beginning of highlight reels more than Cesepdes over the last month. Our variable regressions gave us a deal that average $18.725M per year. When factoring in the prime percentages based on his statistical production, we're provided with the following valuation.

Based on calculations, Yoenis Cesepdes' current market value projects him at:

Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $132,879,105 
Average annual salary $22,146,518 

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