Yoenis Cespedes is visiting the Mets this week. He declined though a Mets media relations professional on Tuesday to speak with reporters, but he was spotted speaking with his teammates, which is part of the reason the Mets have their rehabbing leftfielder in town.
“He’s progressing well,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “He came up to join this week for two reasons: one, a chance to be a part of the team and not feel disconnected and then, two, to be able to work with our strength and conditioning [and] health and performance staff here for a status check.”
What is Cespedes’ status? Still working at the team’s spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, after surgery on both heels. It’s not a given that Cespedes will take an at-bat for the 2019 Mets.
Van Wagenen and manager Mickey Callaway spoke glowingly about Cespedes’ progress. But neither would bite when asked if it was a matter of “when” and not “if” the 33-year-old would play for the Mets this season.
“Time will tell,” Van Wagenen said. “I think everything so far has gone well. We’re pleased with his progression.”
Said Callaway: “That’s still probably hard to speculate, so just understand that he has his own process that he has to go through every single day to do his best to get back and try to help us.”
Cespedes is being paid $29 million this season and has a guaranteed $29.5 million contract for 2020.
Callaway said Cespedes “feels great every day — a lot better [in] normal, everyday activity daily life than he did before because his heels were so painful. He’s very excited about that. Where he’s at in his rehab is it’s going well. He’s hitting off the tee, he’s doing a lot of biking . . . he hasn’t started running yet or anything, but he’s playing catch.”
Callaway allowed himself to muse about what the Mets’ lineup would look like if Cespedes returns and is the feared slugger he can be.
“It’s going to be really, really special,” Callaway said.