NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Yoenis Céspedes’ salary for 2019 was cut in half and his pay for 2020 reduced as part of a settlement of a grievance between the injured outfielder and the New York Mets.
Céspedes agreed to a $110 million, four-year contract in December 2016 but hasn’t played since July 20, 2018. The outfielder had surgery to remove bone calcification from his right heel on Aug. 2, 2018, and his left that Oct. 26.
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, Céspedes’ former agent, said in late May the outfielder sustained multiple right ankle fractures in an accident at Céspedes’ ranch in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where the club’s spring training complex is located.
Céspedes nor the team have ever publicly said what exactly happened at the ranch that day — or if the outfielder was on horseback when the injury occurred.
New York withheld part of Céspedes’ salary, alleging he was hurt during an activity prohibited by his contract’s guarantee language. The players’ association filed a grievance, and the sides settled on an amended contract before the case was argued.
“The club has reached an agreement with Yoenis Céspedes to amend and restructure his contract,” the team said in a statement Friday. “Céspedes remains under contract with the Mets through the 2020 season.”
Van Wagenen said last month he was uncertain whether Céspedes would play in 2020.
Céspedes had been owed $29 million this year and $29.5 million in 2020. His 2019 pay was cut to $14,811,828, according to Mets’ payroll information made available to all clubs.
His 2020 guaranteed salary will be cut, and the rate would increase if he is on the active roster, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Mets did not announce those details.
According to reports, the oft-injured outfielder will make less than $10 million in base salary next season — a third of what he was originally promised.
Heard Cespedes lost a piece of $29M 2019 salary. Bigger loss is his 2020 will go from $29.5M to less than $10M. Can make back in bonuses enough to earn roughly $20M (essentially play to pay). Clearly was worried a grievance could lead to total loss of the $29.5. #Mets
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 13, 2019
Céspedes will have the chance to earn additional bonuses.
A two-time All-Star, the 34-year-old has played in only 119 games in the first three seasons of the contract, just 38 since the end of the 2017 season.
Minor league instructor and former Mets player Endy Chavez posted and then deleted video on Nov. 19 of Céspedes taking swings.
Also Friday, former All-Star right-hander Michael Wacha and the Mets completed a $3 million, one-year contract that includes $8 million in performance bonuses. Wacha can earn $7 million under a points system and $1 million for relief appearances.
New York’s starting rotation includes Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz, and the Mets have a pending $10 million, one-year deal with Rick Porcello.
He also has award bonuses of $50,000 for Cy Young, $25,000 for second and $10,000 for third; $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 each for League Championship Series MVP, making the All-Star Game and winning a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)