Maybe Yoenis Cespedes really will make a difference for the Mets this season.
In a new video posted to his social media channels Monday, Cespedes looked healthy in doing various baseball activities — from sprinting to swinging to uncorking one of his famous throws from the outfield.
Consider it the strongest indication yet that Cespedes, who has not played since July 2018 due to various leg injuries, will indeed be healthy enough to play leftfield and compete with J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith and Brandon Nimmo for playing time.
The Mets have been strict in saying as little as possible this offseason about Cespedes, but in December the two sides renegotiated his contract. Cespedes is due to receive a base salary of $6 million plus performance bonuses, down significantly from the $29.5 million he originally was set to earn.
“We'll have to wait and see,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said at the winter meetings last month. “He's started his running progression. He's started his throwing and obviously his hitting and hopefully he can continue to move forward.
“We have to be smart and not assume anything from anyone, try to create talent on our roster and potentially try to create impact. If he's at his best, he's a high-impact performer. We'll have to see how that plays out.”
Cespedes had surgery on his heels in August and October 2018. In May 2019, he stepped in a hole on his Florida ranch during an encounter with a wild boar, suffering multiple right ankle fractures that required more surgery.