The Mets announced Thursday that Yoenis Cespedes underwent surgery and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019 season. Cespedes recently suffered multiple fractures in his right ankle after falling at his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Presumably, today’s procedure was tied to that injury, although the Mets’ press release did not specify anything beyond the simple fact that Cespedes had surgery.
Cespedes was never a lock to contribute to the Mets this season anyhow after undergoing surgery to alleviate calcification in both of his heels in 2018. The latter of those two surgeries was performed early in the offseason, and neither Cespedes nor the Mets had put a firm timeline on his recovery. This new injury renders any speculation about his recovery from heel surgery moot.
Now 33 years of age, Cespedes has only played in 119 games for the Mets since re-signing a four-year, $110MM contract in free agency. That deal wasn’t viewed as any sort of albatross at the time — Cespedes was coming off a .282/.348/.554 showing in 792 prior plate appearances with the Mets from 2015-16 — but injuries have turned the deal into a regrettable one. Cespedes has unquestionably been excellent when on the field in 2017-18, hitting .282/.343/.525 with 26 homers, but the Mets will get just 478 plate appearances out of him in the first three seasons of that nine-figure contract. It’s reportedly insured to an extent, so they won’t be out the full $29MM he’s owed in 2019, but it’s nevertheless an awful outcome for the club.
In an ideal world, Cespedes would be healthy and ready to go for Spring Training 2020, but the Mets didn’t offer any update on a potential timeline for his return. He’s owed $29.5MM next season in the final year of his contract.