Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes suffered “ankle fractures” in an accident at his ranch in Port St. Lucie over the weekend, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen announced Monday afternoon. Additional information was not provided, and it’s not known how far back this will push what was already a murky timeline for Cespedes’ return. He’s being evaluated by medical professionals in New York City today. Tim Healey of Newsday adds that Cespedes sustained multiple fractures in his right ankle after stepping in a hole and experiencing a “violent” fall (Twitter link).
Cespedes underwent a pair of surgeries last year to address calcification in both heels, the effects of which were expected to sideline him until at least midway through the 2019 campaign. There was no defined timetable for his return to baseball activities, but it’s difficult to imagine him allowing this new injury to heal and still having enough time to build up to a return this season.
Now 33 years of age, Cespedes is in the third season of what has become an ill-fated four-year, $110MM deal with the Mets. The slugger was an instant hero in Queens upon being acquired minutes before the 2015 non-waiver trade deadline, as he led the Mets’ World Series charge with a .287/.337/.604 performance down the stretch. He returned on a three-year, $75MM contract that allowed him to opt out after the first year of said deal and, after posting a superlative .280/.354/.530 line and making the NL All-Star team, he did just that. Cespedes was viewed as a vital piece of the team’s offense at that point, and his four-year deal to return to the club was generally met with favorable reviews.
Hamstring troubles limited him to just 81 games in the first season of the new contract, though when healthy, his .292/.352/.540 slash was right in line with expectations. His offensive performance in 2018 was strong as well (.262/.325/.496), but he was limited to an even smaller set of 38 games, thanks to the aforementioned heel troubles that ultimately required surgery. Now, it appears possible, if not likely, that Cespedes won’t even match that total in 2019. He’s being paid $29MM both this season and next. Specifics of the policy aren’t known, but it’s been reported that Cespedes’ contract, as was the case with David Wright, is insured, so the team won’t be out that entire $29MM sum this season.