Report: Mets Amend Yoenis Cespedes' Contract; 2020 Base Salary Cut by $23.5M

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2019

FILE - In this July 24, 2018, file photo, New York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes looks on as his team play the San Diego Padres during the first inning of a baseball game in New York. Cespedes' 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 Mets. He agreed to a $110 million, four-year contract in December 2016 but has not 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. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The New York Mets have greatly amended the contract of Yoenis Cespedes for 2020 after the left fielder suffered multiple ankle fractures at his ranch in May.

According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Cespedes' base salary dropped from $29.5 million to just $6 million. He can make as much as $20 million next year if he has at least 650 plate appearances.

The 34-year-old's base salary will rise to $11 million as soon as he is on the active roster.

These changes are a result of an agreement that avoided a grievance hearing. The MLB Players Association had filed the grievance after the Mets "withheld part of Cespedes' salary, alleging he was hurt during an activity prohibited by his contract's guarantee language," per Blum.

Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million deal ahead of the 2017 season after a brilliant first one-and-a-half seasons in New York. He was a key part of the team's run to the 2015 World Series after coming over from the Detroit Tigers in a midseason trade and was an MVP candidate with a great year in 2016.

His career has gone south since the deal, however.

He was limited to just 81 games in 2017 and 38 games in 2018 while recovering from hamstring, hip and heel injuries. He was expected to return midway through the 2019 season, but the injury at his ranch kept him out the entire year.

He now has an incentive-laden deal that will pay him the max amount only if he reaches a plate appearance milestone he hasn't approached since 2015. Cespedes is also set to hit free agency next offseason.

New York could reinvest its savings in the rest of the roster.