Yoenis Cespedes is, quite frankly, kicking ass and taking names for the Mets. He’s played in just 41 games with the team, and is hitting .309/.356/.691 with 17 homers. In 102 games before the trade with the Tigers, he homered 18 times. Those 17 homers also rank third on the Mets (behind Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda, who have both played at least 120 games with the team), and his 2.9 WAR is second among hitters on the team behind Granderson.
And for as good as Cespedes has been since the trade deadline, I think it’s safe to slap the “best deadline acquisition over the last five years” tag onto him, assuring he’ll go down in history with the likes of fellow deadline dynamos Randy Johnson and Carlos Beltran. But really, there isn’t all that much competition for Cespedes. Let’s roll back history and look at the best deadline acquisitions since 2011.
In 2011, Hunter Pence was fantastic for the Phillies, hitting .324/.394/.560 with 11 homers and amassing 2.4 WAR. Of course, Cespedes has already been a better hand for the Mets. Edwin Jackson helped the Cardinals win the World Series, but a 3.58 ERA in 78 innings isn’t the stuff of an all-time great acquisition. Beltran was also on the move in 2011, and while his seven homer, .323/.369/.551 campaign with the Giants was solid, he played in just 44 games and wasn’t the game-changer San Francisco expected. Michael Bourn, Doug Fister, Rafael Furcal, and Ubaldo Jimenez all also played well following their trade deadline moves, but not to the level of Cespedes.
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