Mets, Céspedes to restructure deal (sources)

December 16th, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Mets on Friday reached an agreement to significantly reduce the remaining value of contract, according to multiple sources, as part of a settlement stemming from his ranch accident earlier this year.

Céspedes, 34, was due $29.5 million in the final season of the four-year, $110 million contract he signed before 2017. He has not played since July 2018 due to surgeries on both heels to remove calcification and bone spurs. While recovering from those operations, Céspedes fractured his right ankle in a "violent" fall at his Florida ranch, according to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

The Mets never said publicly if they believed Céspedes had violated terms of his contract, which would have given them license to attempt to void it. An industry source confirmed Friday that the restructuring comes as a result of the nature of his injury. That is why Céspedes agreed to accept a salary reduction.

The settlement, however, has no effect on Céspedes' employment. He remains under contract with the Mets for one more season, and both he and the team are hopeful that he can return to active duty in 2020. Recently, Céspedes began hitting, throwing and running at the team's Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

"If he's at his best, he's a high-impact performer," Van Wagenen said this week at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. "We'll have to see how that plays out."

The Mets had been recouping a portion of Céspedes' contract via an insurance policy.