We might not see Cespedes until 2020

The mysterious and chronic leg ailments of our best hitter were finally traced to heel spurs that would end Yoenis Cespedes 2018 season. According to team physicians, Cespedes had a successful first surgery of one heel and, following a few months of rest, will have surgery on the other heel. This will be followed by several more months of rest and then a very lengthy rehabilitation process. After that, the left fielder will need time to strengthen himself and then get back up to playing speed with a minor league assignment. The best case scenario calls for Cespedes to take the field by mid-season in 2019, perhaps July. But when has anything related to the Mets ever panned out as a best case scenario?

For a more likely outcome, look at Troy Tulowitzki. Three years ago, the Toronto shortstop was considered one of the best players in baseball, a five-tool superstar and MVP candidate (five seasons of .900+ OPS). Now he’s a high-paid player who’s spent the better part of the past few seasons on the disabled list. Like Cespedes, he used to be electrifying, has a big contract and questions about when he’ll play again.

Tulowitzki had a series of leg and hip injuries limit his 2017 to just 66 games and hasn’t played a game this season following April double bone spur surgery that was believed to be the solution to the root cause. Sound familiar? Tulowitzki was expected back this summer but was just shut down for the year. Tulowitzki is nearly 34 and still under contract for two years plus an option. The best case scenario is that his off-season recovery goes well and he’ll rejoin the Blue Jays in spring training for 2019. But will he still have the range to play shortstop? Will he be able to stay off the DL? Just as we can look to Don Mattingly to know that we can’t count on any real David Wright comeback, we can look to Tulowitzki to see what we can expect in the future from Cespedes.

At least for 2019, the Mets better have other ideas in mind for who might be batting third.

13 comments for “We might not see Cespedes until 2020

  1. TexasGusCC
    August 31, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Very good comparison Matt, but Tulowitzki is a player that has milked the DL for years. He’s even more prima donna than Cespedes, but just doesn’t act it out. So, let’s take your scenario and run with it. Then, you either use Jay Bruce in RF for six innings as that “insurance policy” he was going to be two years ago and then go to Lagares in CF, you need to replace Yoenis, or you just tank for a year and sell off JDG. Our perception of the Coupons is the first scenario – since everything is in place. The team’s best interests may lie in the second scenario. A new GM may think long term and look at the third scenario.

    How many times I wished I switched teams when I was little. It’s not quite being born into bad circumstances, since we can switch at any time, but this “loyalty” crap to people who aren’t loyal to you back is self-prohibitive. I guess what if I were a Pirates fan? Their owners really are scumbags,

  2. Mike Walczak
    August 31, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Machado – dump whatever you can and sign Machado.

    What a deal on Cespedes. What a boat anchor.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 31, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Don’t tease us like this Mike…

  3. Pete from NJ
    August 31, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Does anyone remember when Troy Tulo was on the Met’s horizon as a trade potential.

    Oh god we would all be crying in our chicken soup.

    And, Manny Machado as a Met? I wunder if the front office/owners are fantasizing about the infielder like I am?

  4. Madman
    August 31, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Ah, those FA signings. How many work out? How often do the multi year signings not even give you one good year much less 3,4,5 or 6? Wright and Cespedes come to mind. How about Reyes, did Miami,Toronto, and Denver get what they were paying for? And remember when everybody was clamoring for the Mets to extend Harvey and buy out his arbitration years? Pujols,Cabrera, Ellsbury,both Zimmerman’s,Hayward, come to mind.Be careful what you wish for.

  5. Pete from NJ
    August 31, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Madman you’re right about the effectiveness and then the total return as the player ages. But Machado is only 26 years old so he would be a game changer not only for the Mets but any team for the next ten years.

    Does he fit in NYC? That’s another question. Risky: of course. Does it work…good question.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 31, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      Peter, would you give him 5/$200?

  6. Pete from NJ
    August 31, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    To Tex; honestly no.

  7. MattyMets
    August 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I hope that our new GM plays it very differently than Sandy’s paint by numbers approach to free agency. I would go for the best bar we can get regardless of position and then fill in at the margins. Rather than plugging holes with b level FAs, sign one monster like Machado and then orchestrate some smart trades and late, cheap signings to fill out the roster.

  8. Chris F
    August 31, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    I definitely think the plan should be to not expect Ces in ’19. If we get any time, then “woo-hoo” but I would not expect it at all.

    • Madman
      August 31, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      And don’t count on Wright either! Aren’t they both “monster” FA signings?

      • MattyMets
        August 31, 2018 at 5:12 pm

        My hope with Wright is that he can play a few games for a last hurrah and a big standing O and maybe hit one last home run at home. Then retire, negotiate a buyout and stay with the organization as a coach. Will the Wilsons handle it this way? Who knows.

    • Mike Walczak
      August 31, 2018 at 11:46 pm

      Cespooles has been a colossal waste of money. But, yes, I was on the bandwagon to sign him.

      As it has been stayed, Machado is 26 years old. The next 4 years should be his best. Free agents if his caliber almost never become available at age 26.

      In 1984, I really wanted the Mets to get Gary Carter. Then it happened. I have to break out my old crystal ball again and will Machado to sign with the Mets.

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