Mets Extend Qualifying Offers to Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker


Neil Walker, above, and Yoenis Cespedes have one week to decide whether to accept the Mets’ qualifying offer or test free agency.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — During the next few days, the Mets and General Manager Sandy Alderson will have to weigh whether Yoenis Cespedes, one of the team’s best players over the past year and a half, gives them the best chance of winning.

“From a fan standpoint, from a team standpoint, from a variety of different standpoints, possibly,” Alderson said on Monday, the first day of the annual general managers’ meetings. “But there are always alternatives.”

On Monday, the Mets made the first strategic move in keeping two of their best hitters from last season: They extended to Cespedes and second baseman Neil Walker one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offers ahead of an evening deadline.

Cespedes, a top free agent this winter, and Walker were among 10 players who received qualifying offers for 2017. The list also included Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ian Desmond of the Texas Rangers and Edwin…

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