Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been crossing thresholds this offseason as he continues to work his way back from multiple ankle fractures that ended his 2019 season before it began. And he's getting closer to being a realistic option for the 26-man roster to start the 2020 season.
Cespedes' hitting progression has "reached the point where he's ready to go for spring training on the offensive side," Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said on Wednesday.
Of course, being ready to go on the offensive side is only one half of what Cespedes needs to do in order to be a player who can start games for the Mets this coming season.
When it comes to playing left field, Cespedes needs to be able to get proper jumps and cuts in addition to running in a straight line, which he was doing earlier this week.
If Cespedes can cross that last hurdle -- being able to not only handle playing the outfield but doing so for nine innings at a time -- the Mets could be getting back a true impact player to slot in the middle of their lineup along with Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and others.
Cespedes' base salary is $6 million, but it will rise to $11 million if he is on the Opening Day roster or if he starts the season on the IL for an issue that is not related to his recent foot/ankle ailments.
Beyond that, Cespedes can earn roughly $9 million in incentives, with much of those incentives tied to escalators that kick in when he hits a certain number of plate appearances.
With rosters expanding to 26 players this season, potentially carrying Cespedes becomes easier. However, SNY's Andy Martino reported on Tuesday that the Mets are open to trading Cespedes (and Jed Lowrie) before the season starts.