Yoenis Cespedes is back in the Mets’ clubhouse, and he’s already making headlines.
Cespedes has returned after missing the entirety of the 2019 season due to an unusual injury. The outfielder suffered a fractured ankle on his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Florida after an encounter with a wild boar.
The 34-year-old reported early for spring training this year, but he’s apparently not cooperating with the media. On Monday, Cespedes told reporters that he wouldn’t be speaking to the press this season.
“Not today, not tomorrow, not at all this year," said Cespedes.
The mercurial player was asked why he wouldn’t speak with the media, to which he answered: "because I don't want to."
2020 will be the final year of Cespedes’ contract with the Mets, which has now been re-worked. The team apparently threatened to void the Cuban’s contract if he didn’t renegotiate it, following his prolonged absences from the field.
Under the terms of his new deal, Cespedes will now be making $6 million this season. The Mets alleged that he was hurt during an activity prohibited by his contract's guarantee language. Before the renegotiation, he had been set to make $29.5 million in 2020.
When he’s healthy, Cespedes is another big bat to have in a lineup. The Mets already have quite a few fearsome hitters, but Cespedes would certainly make them even better, if he can get back to something like his best.
Cespedes' best season in New York came in 2016. That year, he was an All-Star and hit .280 with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs. In the two months he played in 2018, Cespedes hit .262 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs.
It seems unlikely that Cespedes will be able to go the whole season without speaking to the media. Sooner or later, he will have to talk to reporters, or he is likely to face a fine from the Mets.