Yoenis Cespedes‘ base salary for 2020 has been cut to $6 million from its original $29.5 million as part of an amended contract with the New York Mets that avoided a grievance hearing, according to details obtained by The Associated Press.
The oft-injured outfielder, however, would make $20 million if he has 650 plate appearances next season, the AP reported.
Cespedes agreed to a four-year, $110 million contract in December 2016 but hasn’t played since July 20, 2018. The outfielder had surgery to remove bone calcification from his right heel on Aug. 2, 2018, and from his left heel that Oct. 26.
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, Cespedes’ former agent, said in late May the outfielder suffered multiple right ankle fractures in an accident at Cespedes’ ranch in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where the club’s spring training complex is located.
New York withheld part of Cespedes’ salary, alleging he was hurt during an activity prohibited by his contract’s guarantee language. The players’ association filed a grievance, and the sides settled on an amended contract on Dec. 13 before the case was argued.
Cespedes had been owed $29 million for 2019 and $29.5 million in 2020. His 2019 pay was cut to $14,811,828, according to Mets payroll information made available to all clubs.
A two-time All-Star, the 34-year-old has played in only 119 games in the first three seasons of the contract — just 38 since the end of the 2017 season.
If Cespedes doesn’t start next season on the injured list because of a right foot or ankle injury tied to his May 18 injury, his base salary would escalate to $11 million. His base pay would rise to $11 million as soon as he is on the active roster or on the IL for a non-related injury.
According to The Associated Press, Cespedes can earn $9 million next season based on plate appearances: $250,000 each for 200, 250 and 275; $500,000 apiece for 300, 350, 375 and 400; $750,000 each for 425, 450 and 475; and $1 million apiece for 525, 550, 575 and 650.
The report said his bonus for an All-Star selection was increased from $50,000 to $500,000, for winning a Gold Glove from $100,000 to $750,000, for Silver Slugger from $50,000 to $750,000, for World Series MVP from $100,000 to $500,000 and for League Championship Series MVP from $50,000 to $500,000.
Cespedes would get $1 million for league MVP, $250,000 for second and $100,000 for third — up from $125,000, $100,000 and $75,000 in the original contract, according to the report. The Associated Press also reported he’d receive a $2 million assignment bonus if traded to an AL team and a $500,000 bonus if dealt to an NL team — the money owed by the club that acquires him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.