“If he gives us anything this year, that is great, we’re happy for that.”
As we all know, Cespedes underwent double heel surgery this winter that according to Brodie Van Wagenen, was expected to keep him out until July.
However, Minaya’s comments change the tone significantly as he makes it sound as if Cespedes is not expected back until later in the year if at all in 2019.
This obviously might paint a different picture on the perceived fan interests on what the team must do this offseason. If the return of Cespedes in 2019 is really in that much flux, the team might need to look for a more permanent solution in the outfield if they want to contend in 2019.
A.J. Pollock was at one point considered an option, but interest in him cooled after they signed Wilson Ramos. The team has also spoken with outfield options such as Marwin Gonzalez and Adam Jones while Bryce Harper remains the crown jewel on the free agent market. The team has yet to show interest in him as of now.
The outfield as it stands today would include Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, and Brandon Nimmo on Opening Day with Rajai Davis and Gregor Blanco potentially making the team as the fourth and fifth outfielders (both signed minor league deals with invites to Spring Training).
Cespedes, 32, is the in the third year of a four-year, $110 million contract and is slated to make $29 million this season. The Mets will receive some form of financial relief via insurance after he spends 60 days on the disabled list.