The Mets, who have spent the better part of this lost season hoping Yoenis Cespedes would return from the disabled list, don’t have that problem any longer.
Cespedes returned from the disabled list Friday to homer against the Yankees, then dropped an even bigger bombshell after the game when he said he would need surgery on both heels and could miss up to ten months.
That would put his return at early June, but after assistant general manager John Ricco said today the Mets agreed he’ll have two surgeries three months apart that could put his return next year to sometime in August.
The official diagnosis was calcifications around both Achilles tendons and bone spurs on each heel.
But, you’re the Mets you might not even expect to see Cespedes at all next year.
After the 2016 season, Cespedes signed a four-year, $110 million contract, but by the time this year is over he will have played in just 119 of a potential 324 games. What’s even more aggravating is Ricco knew of Cespedes’ heel problems when they signed him in November of 2016, a test run season for him in which he was injured and played in only 132 games.
Cespedes, at his press conference today at Citi Field, said through an interpreter: ‘’Nobody would like to go through surgery at any time. I try to do my best to stay on the field and play a lot, but we exhausted all of the conservative treatment options. … I was not able to be on the field and play the same way I used to.”
The 32-year-old Cespedes missed 81 games last season, and went on the disabled list, May 14, with a hip flexor strain and missed nine weeks. The Mets believe the calcification in Cespedes’ heels forced him to change is running style resulting in the hip flexor strain.
“The general consensus is the pain he is feeling in his heels has definitely contributed to a change in his running style, because he is trying to avoid what is causing the pain,” Ricco said. “And that can certainly lead to other lower-extremity issues, whether they be the quad, hamstring or the hip. You get to the point where that doesn’t make any sense, because you’re just going to stay in that cycle.
“We had him checked out by the doctors, and they’ve agreed that we’ve exhausted the conservative options. Now, surgery is really the only way to resolve this issue.”
Ricco did say the Mets had an insurance on Cespedes similar to the one they took out on David Wright. That policy enables the Mets to recoup up to 75 percent of the $20 million Wright makes annually. Ricco wouldn’t say how the Mets would spend the money recovered through insurance.
“We haven’t gone down the road to what this means toward our plan moving forward,” Ricco said. “Generally, we don’t get into details of the insurance policy.”