NY Mets: Yoenis Cespedes Pay Cut Is Substantial

Yoenis Cespedes’ pay cut for next season could be deeper than originally anticipated.

Industry sources confirmed Saturday the veteran outfielder’s guaranteed salary for next season, as part of a restructured contract, will be just $6 million. But Cespedes would collect another $5 million if he avoids beginning the season on the injured list because of right foot or ankle injuries that kept him sidelined in 2019. The Associated Press first reported terms of the new deal.

The club initially disputed the report that Cespedes’ guaranteed salary for next year would be $6 million, but a source indicated the Mets were viewing the contract as $11 million for 2020 with $5 million deducted if the player begins the season on the IL with the aforementioned injuries. Cespedes’ original contract, signed before the 2017 season, called for him to earn $29.5 million next year.

Cespedes’ contract was restructured last month to avoid a hearing in front of an arbitrator, as the Mets were withholding his pay, contending he was in violation of his contract for an activity on his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Fla., last May that caused him multiple ankle fractures. Cespedes at the time was rehabbing from double heel surgery that cost him the final two months of the 2018 season. Initial reports were that Cespedes would receive about $10 million guaranteed next season.

Cespedes’ original contract was for four years and $110 million. According to the amended contract, his pay for next season would increase to $20 million if he accumulates 650 plate appearances. As part of the deal, Cespedes’ contract for this year was sliced from $29 million to $22.9 million. The AP reported that information sent to clubs for this year listed his pay as $14.8 million, to the new deal is giving Cespedes about $8 million more for 2019 than originally believed.
All told, Cespedes could lose as much as $29.6 million under terms of the amended deal.