In May, when Yoenis Cespedes broke his right ankle at his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen described a “violent” fall, but had no connection with the fall.
The same was true last month, when it became known that Cespedes and the Mets agreed to restructure his contract, which could cost him at least $ 15.7 million and nearly $ 30 million, among other things.
The Post has learned that everyone involved agreed that Cespedes was injured at the ranch when he stepped into a hole after interacting with a wild boar.
According to several people who were informed of the incident, Cespedes has traps on his ranch for various reasons, including to keep boars away from people. But a boar was removed from a trap – perhaps by Cespedes – and either charged or frightened at Cespedes, causing Cespedes to enter a hole. Cespedes suffered the broken ankle at a time when he was recovering from an operation on both heels that was already jeopardizing his game status in 2019. The ankle fracture guaranteed that he didn't get a blow last season.
Cespedes reported the injury to the Mets, also immediately that he was trying to avoid a boar. Mets officials and Cespedes representatives went to the ranch the next day and came away because they believed that was what was happening. Officials from the Commissioners Office and the Players Association later visited the ranch and also confirmed that Cespedes had been injured.
The Commissioners Office and the Players Association participated when the Mets Cespedes & # 39; were found to withhold compensation for 2019 and were considering an attempt to make the rest of its pact a non-guaranteed contract.
Kyle Thousand, Cespedes & # 39; agent, declined to comment on The Post on Friday afternoon.
The standard language in a player contract prohibits the player from participating in a variety of sporting activities. Guaranteed contracts like Cespedes prohibit additional risk mitigation activities. Although it is not known publicly whether the Mets and Cespedes have agreed to a specific language that would have made potentially dangerous activities on his ranch a breach of his contract, the language prohibited any act, activity or activity in a second Mets player contract from the previous year Sports This poses a significant risk of injury. “If you're dealing with a wild boar up close, this may be one of those actions.
There was also an extensive precedent that would have jeopardized the rest of Cespedes' guaranteed money. In February 1994, Ron Gant broke his fibula and tibia on his right leg in a dirt bike accident on private property. A month later, the Braves Gant set unconditional releases and owed him only 30 days (about $ 907,000) of his $ 5.5 million salary (the largest one-year contract in history at the time).
In January 2004, Aaron Boone tore his left hand while picking up basketball. The Yankees claimed that Boone had violated his contract and paid him 30 days of severance pay (approximately $ 918,000) for his $ 5.75 million contract.
The Mets could have tried Cespedes too. And Cespedes could have fought to get every penny paid out to him. That a compromise between MLB, the union, the Mets and Cespedes camps has been concluded suggests that both the Mets and Cespedes camps were concerned about losing their reasoning to the independent referee – especially Cespedes, if considering how much guaranteed money he has lost.
Cespedes only received $ 22.8 million of what should have been $ 29 million last season. For 2020, the guaranteed portion of his contract was reduced from $ 29.5 million to $ 6 million. His salary will rise to $ 11 million if Cespedes moves to the opening holiday or if he is added to the list of injuries due to an illness that does not affect the feet or ankles, time after the season opener. Record awards could add another $ 9 million to Cespedes' income.
Cespedes signed a four-year contract for $ 110 million after the 2016 season. He has only played 119 games since then due to a variety of injuries.