Make no mistake: the Detroit Tigers are going all-out in their "reboot." The Tigers agreed to trade Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets, about 15 minutes prior to the 4 p.m. trade deadline. The team made the move official long after. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Zack Wheeler, a hard-throwing righthander with loads of potential, was not in the deal.
Instead, the Tigers will receive two minor leaguers. Luis Cessa, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, has a 3.98 ERA in 101 2/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A this season. Michael Fulmer, another righty, has a 1.88 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 86 innings for Double-A Binghamton this season.
Cespedes, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Rick Porcello last offseason, has performed at a near-All-Star level in a Tigers uniform. In 102 games with Detroit, Cespedes batted .293/.323/.506 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI. Cespedes also stole three bases, and his excellent fielding helped him accumulate 4.2 WAR. Cespedes' excellent power helped him offset a career-low 4.4 percent walk rate, one of the few deficiencies in his game.
Cespedes quickly became a fan-favorite in Detroit, and many are holding out hope that this trade helps the Tigers retain Cespedes beyond 2015. Cespedes' contract stipulates that his team must release him within five days of the end of the World Series, making him a free agent. He is not eligible to receive a qualifying offer, and will not be tied to draft pick compensation.
The team that releases Cespedes is not eligible to sign him until May 15, 2016, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Given Cespedes' desire to test the free agent market, this makes it unlikely that the Mets will be able to re-sign him after the season.
The trade is the third major deal for the Tigers in the past two days. On Thursday, Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski dealt star pitcher David Price to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for three prospects. Closer Joakim Soria was also sent packing, traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league prospect JaCoby Jones.