On July 29, just two days before the trade deadline, the Mets had seemingly acquired five-tool CF Carlos Gomez from the Brewers for Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler. Mets fans cheered the news across social media while Flores broke down in tears on the field. But Mets GM Sandy Alderson quickly dispelled the rumors that same night, saying the deal fell through. It was later revealed that the Mets balked on Gomez due to his hip, which had been giving him trouble all season. The Mets were left with egg on their face, and the only way to wipe it off was by acquiring a big bat in Gomez’ stead.
That’s why the Mets went after outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who was on the Tigers this year after moving from the A’s to the Red Sox last year. Though Cespedes’ contract expires at the end of this season, the Mets gave up one of their better pitching prospects in Michael Fulmer in the hopes that Cespedes would provide the offensive power they so desperately needed. So far he has delivered.
Cespedes’ numbers have been terrific for the Mets; in 20 games (93 PAs) he is hitting .307 with five home runs, 16 RBIs and four stolen bases. His OPS is a robust .890 in his short tenure as a Met.
The Mets have also gotten some good defense from Cespedes. He made the national highlight reels on Aug. 15 with his perfect one-hop throw from center field to third base to nail a runner trying to advance in a game with the Pirates.
Cespedes turned heads again last Friday night when he single-handedly destroyed the Rockies; in six at-bats Cespedes knocked three home runs out of Coors Field to go along with a double and a single for a total of 15 bases, just one base off the single-game franchise record held by Edgardo Alfonzo. Cespedes recorded seven RBIs in the Mets' 14-9 win that night.
Cespedes is versatile enough to play left field or center field, which aids manager Terry Collins greatly when it comes time to make out the lineup card. His bat has given the Mets' offense, as a whole, a great boost and the team isn’t sacrificing anything defensively when he’s in the field.
Gomez, on the other hand, was later dealt to the Astros and he has truly struggled. In 21 games played for playoff-contending Houston, Gomez has batted a measly .188 (85 PAs) with just one home run and four walks. He's struck out 18 times.
It’s hard to believe that what started out as such a disaster, ended up being a blessing for the Mets.