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Mets SAVED Money On Yoenis Cespedes Contract

No one knows what happened on that farm when the rehabbing Yoenis Cespedes broke his ankle. The only thing we do know is the Mets didn’t pay him in 2019, and now, we know Cespedes won’t receive his full $29.5 million salary for either season.

Under the terms of the settlement, Cespedes will receive a little more than half of his 2019 salary. In 2020, he’s going to earn far less than that.

In fact, Cespedes is going to make roughly $20 million less with his 2020 salary reportedly going under $10 million. With unspecified incentives, it could go to $20 million, but it’ll never get back up to that $29.5 million mark.

Suddenly, Mets fans are hopeful this means the Mets could start spending and adding key bullpen pieces like Dellin Betances. Of course, this makes a dangerous presumption.

When looking at Cespedes’ restructured deal, they’re saving roughly $20 million this year before incentives. If those incentives are achieved, it would be mitigated by his 2019 savings. That $20 million should sound awfully familiar.

Rick Porcello signed a one year $10 million deal. While Michael Wacha signed a one year $3 million deal, he could earn up to $10 million. As noted by Tim Britton of The Athletic, for budget purposes, they treat those incentives as part of the payroll as if they’re definitively going to be paid.

It’s not just that way with incentives. They do that with everything. For years, they pocketed and did not reinvest the money saved on David Wright‘s deal.

Look at last year, the team didn’t reinvest the savings on Wright’s or Cespedes’ insurance money. After adding Marcus Stroman, they traded Jason Vargas to clear his contract. That’s not acting like a team who was not only not paying Cespedes, but it’s also not acting like an “all-in” team trying to grab the second Wild Card.

Going back to this offseason, no one can be quite sure what the Mets will be willing to spend. What we do know is the team’s history of not reinvesting “found money” like the restructured Cespedes deal presents. We also know there are pervasive rumors about the Mets need to move either Jed Lowrie‘s or Jeurys Familia‘s contract in order to add more players.

We don’t know if that was a position they took prior to this settlement. We also don’t know if it’s a genuine need. We also don’t know about the intent to reinvest the money in the event the Mets can move a contract.

At the moment, all we know is the Mets have saved tens of millions of dollars on Cespedes contract just like they had with Wright. They never reinvested Wright’s money or other money for that matter. While the Mets may choose to reinvest the money on Cespedes’ contract, no one should believe it until they see it.

9 thoughts on “Mets SAVED Money On Yoenis Cespedes Contract”

  1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    “In fact, Cespedes is going to make roughly $20 million less with his 2020 salary reportedly going under $10 million. With unspecified incentives, it could go to $20 million, but it’ll never get back up to that $29.5 million mark. Suddenly, Mets fans are hopeful this means the Mets could start spending and…”

    —-My expectation is that the Mets were well aware a settlement was impending (corporate lawyers are rarely surprised that settlements are likely, nor by the amounts involved, and they would have been in negotiations with Cespedes’ lawyers since the accident) and went ahead and spent the money they were all but certain to save. Meaning that for the xth offseason in a row they’ve chosen *not* to get or re-sign very good to premium players like Grandal, Cain, Wheeler, Bumgarner… and instead are filling in some improbably arrived at checklist with “depth” signings when their frontline talent at a given position isn’t actually any good. In this case that’s the 5th starter slot that they could have filled with 1 very good pitcher for the money spent, and instead got two very iffy guys.

    Here we go again, in short. What are we up to–about 84 wins for 2020?

    This is a team with enough frontline talent that it isn’t too far away from being a contender, but it needed to add two premium players while filling in cleverly at the margins. Instead, it added no such players, and is filling in abominably at the margins, to the point where Syracuse will probably be as much of a joke as it was last season.

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