Cespedes, of course, reignited the Mets' scuffling offense when he was acquired just before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. He played 57 games for New York and batted .287/.337/.604 with 17 homers and a .942 OPS, leading them to their first National League East title since 2006. De Aza is not expected to be a straight replacement for Cespedes, but instead platoon in center field with Juan Lagares.
Even though Cespedes spoke fondly of his time in New York, the Mets were never major players to re-sign him. He's already 30 years old and owns a career .319 on-base percentage -- not the kind of player the front office traditionally targets, especially considering the large multiyear contract he almost certainly will command. According to CBSSports.com, the Mets suggested a short-term deal of two or three years to Cespedes, but he is expected to seek a contract of at least five or six years.
The Mets will likely look to defend their NL pennant without their Nos. 3 and 4 postseason hitters -- second baseman Daniel Murphy's tenure in New York effectively ended when the team traded for Neil Walker, and Murphy reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Nationals on Thursday.
New York will still aim to add a right-handed-hitting outfielder to complement the left-handers in its lineup, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson. According to CBSSports.com, the Mets are looking into Steve Pearce -- who fits because he can also play first base and spell Lucas Duda -- and Chris Denorfia.
The Mets are also hoping to get full seasons out of catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who was limited to 67 games in 2015, and third baseman David Wright, who played in only 38 games.
Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.