New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will have to earn back all of the money he was originally set to get paid in 2020.
Whenever Yoenis Cespedes is in the news it’s usually not a very good thing. The New York Mets slugger hasn’t had a single at-bat since mid-2018. Since re-upping with the club after the 2016 campaign he has been practically absent from the field.
On Friday, a new chapter to the Cespedes saga was written. Using Star Wars titles as a reference, this latest news isn’t A New Hope. That’s what we can call 2015. In a year we were hopeful for the Return of the Jedi, it’s shaping up to be much less. Attack of the Clones, anybody?
As many speculated, last year’s injury while already injured wasn’t as cut and dry as we were told. While recovering from heel surgery, Cespedes allegedly stepped in a hole on his ranch in Florida. Nothing has been specifically stated by the Mets to say otherwise, but Cespedes will receive less than a third of his contract in 2020 with incentives to get the whole nearly $30 million.
Something like this doesn’t happen unless there is definitive proof of some wrongdoing. We can all have fun and wonder what it was that caused Cespedes to miss even more time from his injury. We can, and should, also demand the team actually uses the money they saved and add a reliever.
It’s a shame the newest pages about his tenure in New York will be more of a punchline than anything else. His first year and a half with the club were tremendous. Even his half-season in 2017 was productive. When he gets on the field, the big guy often delivered.
I think in the last year a lot of Mets fans have moved on from him. Pete Alonso emerged as the new slugger in town. Accompanied by J.D. Davis who more than won a starting gig for the team in 2020, there’s no real room for a guy like Cespedes who seemed to enjoy being a baseball player more than actually playing baseball.
When his career in Flushing is over, I’m sure plenty of fans will remember him fondly for how well things began. A whole generation, however, may never realize how impactful he was in 2015. Because the team never won a thing and there are such massive gaps in his playing time, Cespedes could end up as one of those Mets fans of the future cannot understand.
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This chapter of Cespedes’ career has started off in surprising fashion. Entering the final year of his deal with the ball club, he has a choice to deliver for the team on the field and earn himself a new contract somewhere else or fade away like so many other stars who didn’t burn bright for long.