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The New York Mets don’t expect outfielder Yoenis Céspedes to greatly impact the team in 2019. Special assistant to the general manager Omar Minaya gave a pessimistic outlook on Céspedes’ recovery in an interview with MLB Network Radio.
Minaya said the Mets would be happy if Céspedes gave them anything in 2019.
Speaking on @MLBNetworkRadio this morning, Omar Minaya echoed the recent chorus on Yoenis Cespedes' complete lack of a timetable to return:
"If he gives us anything this year, that is great, we're happy for that," Minaya said.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) January 2, 2019
The 33-year-old Céspedes is recovering from two heel surgeries. He underwent his second heel procedure in late October. He was expected to miss about four months, which means Céspedes wouldn’t be able to start baseball activity until late February at the earliest.
It doesn’t sound like the team expects him to make a quick recovery, though that might be for the best. Céspedes has dealt with a number of injuries since joining the Mets. After playing 132 games in 2016, Céspedes played in just 81 games in 2017 and was limited to 38 games in 2018.
It’s also possible Minaya’s comments are the team’s way of keeping expectations low. The Mets haven’t handled injuries well the past couple seasons. The team has repeatedly overpromised and underdelivered on recovery timetables. They could be aiming to reverse that trend with Céspedes.
While it’s unclear when Céspedes will return, getting anything from him would put the Mets in a much better position. Despite bringing in Robinson Canó and Wilson Ramos in the offseason, the Mets’ offense could still use another dangerous hitter. Céspedes can be that missing piece if he’s healthy.
The Mets have every incentive to wait until Céspedes is full strength before bringing him back. The outfielder is under contract with the team through the 2020 season, and will make roughly $29 million in each of the next two seasons.
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