The New York Mets today announced that the club has acquired All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for minor league right handed pitchers Luis Cessa and Michael Fulmer.
Cespedes will wear #52 and Carlos Torres will switch to #72. Born in Campechuela, Granma, Cuba, Cespedes will become the 11th Cuban-born player to play for the Mets. The others are Rey Ordonez, Orlando Hernandez, Livan Hernandez, Raul Valdes, Jorge Toca, Eli Marrero, Chico Fernandez, Jose Cardenal, Ed Bauta, and Alay Soler.
Cespedes, 29, was hitting .293 (118-403) with 18 home runs and 61 RBI in 102 games this season with the Tigers. He has 48 total extra-base hits, which rank third among outfielders in major league baseball this season behind the Nationals’ Bryce Harper (54) and the Angels’ Mike Trout (51).
Cespedes is first in defensive runs saved for leftfielders this season with 11. Cespedes has also registered nine outfield assists this season, which is currently tied for fifth-most in the American League. Since his debut in 2012, Cespedes has 44 outfield assists, which is second in the AL in that stretch behind Kansas City’s Alex Gordon, who has 45.
Last season, Cespedes began the season with Oakland but finished the 2014 season with Boston after a mid-season trade. He set career-highs in hits (156), doubles (36), triples (six), RBI (100), extra-base hits (64) and total bases (270) during his All-Star campaign.
In 2013, Cespedes participated and won in the Home Run Derby at Citi Field as part of the All-Star festivities with 32 total home runs. He then won the Home Run Derby in 2014 and joined Ken Griffey, Jr. as the only players in major league history to win back-to-back Home Run Derby titles.
During his 2012 rookie season, Cespedes finished second in the A.L. Rookie of the Year vote after ranking second among American League rookies for runs scored (70), hits (142), doubles (25), home runs (23), walks (43) extra-base hits (53), total bases (246) and multi-hit games (40). In that same campaign, Cespedes won the American League Rookie of the Month award for September when he batted .266 (29-109) with 18 runs scored, five doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 19 RBI in 28 games.
In 518 career games, Cespedes has 110 doubles, 17 triples, 89 home runs and 323 RBI. He was originally signed as an international free agent on March 3, 2012.
Cessa, 23, was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 and was currently pitching for Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. Cessa was 0-3 with an 8.51 ERA in five games with the 51s following a 7-4 mark with a 2.56 ERA in 13 starts for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League to open the season.
Fulmer, 22, was originally selected in the supplemental round of the 2011 draft out of Deer Creek (OK) High School. He was currently pitching for Binghamton with a 6-2 record and a 1.88 ERA in 15 starts for the BMets. He made one start to open the year with St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League before being promoted to Binghamton.
Cespedes is the fourth player the Mets have acquired in the last week, joining infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson (acquired from Atlanta) and RHP Tyler Clippard, who was acquired from Oakland.