There’s always an inherent danger when it comes to writing about players we think we are familiar with, especially when it comes to an attempt to “get inside the head” of the Mets one legitimate position star player. But I’ll take a chance and wager that any secret poll among Mets players would agree with me…
Yoenis Cespedes is a bottom water feeder, second to only a few who wear a major league uniform. Yes, I said that. Unfortunately for the Mets, he is currently wearing their uniform following a trail through the majors with three other suspended tries at wearing another team’s uniform.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And I, for one, am weary of listening to all the platitudes about what Cespedes means to the Mets from Mickey Callaway and Sandy Alderson. They’re all true, just as it was true Manny Ramirez was a raker who could turn games around. Cespedes can do that too, as all Mets fans will tell you about the fire that was lit during the team’s 2015 drive to the World Series.
Trouble is, that fire is not even smoldering now. It left on the No. 7 train bound for any number of hospitals in New York where they have the latest technology to diagnose leg injuries among athletes. And if I had a dollar for every MRI Cespedes has undergone in the last two years, I could retire and buy season tickets to Mets games.
Take it further, though, and imagine yourself as Brandon Nimmo or Amed Rosario in the Mets clubhouse, thrilled to be wearing a major league uniform, energized by enthusiasm, but nowhere to go except looking across the clubhouse to see a vacant locker occupied by a Diva making oodles of money while you ply your trade for the major league minimum.
Will either player or anyone else in the Mets clubhouse speak out? No way. Cespedes is insulated from everything as the organization’s front office continues to gingerly ask him, “Hey, can you give us a date as to when you’ll be ready to play again?”
The 24 other guys in the clubhouse are fighting not only for their job but also an opportunity to transform the squad into a winning team again. The team is going north or south from this point on, but one player is oblivious to it all because he has a CONTRACT.
Albeit, because at the time the team forked over their ill-fated dollars, Mets fans were screaming for Sandy Alderson to “Do Something”. It’s all about money with the Blue and Orange and it’s hard to excuse them for that. Cespedes has an opt-out in 2020, but given his character it’s not likely he’ll take it, choosing instead to collect checks signed by the Wilpons.
In grading any major league ballplayer, the intangibles are just as important as production on the field, and sometimes as in the case of a Nimmo even supersede that proviso. If there is a Mets fan, or more importantly a Mets front office person who can point to one – just one – intangible Cespedes brings to the Mets to improve the team, do not hesitate in doing so now.
And I didn’t mean his golf handicap. But you see this is a quagmire the Mets need to shake themselves from. For obvious reasons, Yoenis Cespedes is not a tradeable player. But that doesn’t mean the Mets can’t trade him.
Eat some of the money due to Cespedes, that’s a given. Release him and take the chance that the Mets can trade him in the ten days they are allotted, or that a fifth team will envision themselves at a chance for lightning in a bottle when he becomes a free agent after that time.
Or, transfer Cespedes to the 60-day DL, effectively putting him out to pasture in ways similar to what the Yankees are doing with their nemesis, Jacoby Ellsbury.
Hey, ya never know and you don’t know until you try it. Sandy, start the process and you will see not only the team’s fans behind you, but you may get a couple of positive and private texts from players as well.