The other day Yoenis Céspedes, who was already in the process of recovering from last year’s season-ending surgery on his foot — suffered multiple ankle fractures from an accident on his ranch. Yesterday he underwent surgery and is, once again, expected to miss the remainder of the season as a result.
It wasn’t certain that Céspedes was going to make it back in any meaningful way in 2018 as it is, but obviously it’s somewhat less than ideal to, you know, suffer multiple broken bones in your ankles when you’re a professional athlete. At some point I’m sure we’ll get the story of just what happened to Céspedes — initial reports were that he fell off a horse, then that was quickly amended to a report that he did not fall off a horse — but either way it means at least two lost seasons in a row for the guy.
Céspedes turns 34 in October. He’s making $29 million this season and $29 million next season on the four-year, $110 million deal he inked following the 2016 season. That means that, assuming he heals properly, he’ll almost certainly be back at Mets camp for one more go-around in 2020, but it’s not insane to think that, at this point, his baseball career is in serious jeopardy.
The Washington Nationals, fresh off signing Stephen Strasburg to a $245 million deal, are now turning their attention to their third base hole. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that they have made inquiries to the Chicago Cubs about trading for Kris Bryant.
Emphasis on the word “inquiry” because it’d be premature for the Cubs to trade Bryant at the moment, even if they are reported to be considering the possibility.
Bryant and the Cubs are awaiting word from an arbitrator about Bryant’s years-old service time grievance. If Bryant wins, he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. If the Cubs win they control him for two more years. The team may or may not choose to trade him in either case as they are reportedly trying to cut payroll, but the price for him will vary pretty significantly depending on whether or not the acquiring club will receive one or two years of control over the former MVP.
For Washington, this would be a means of replacing free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. Or, perhaps, the inquiries are a means of creating a tad more leverage for the Nats as they talk to Rendon’s agent about re-signing him.
Which, in the past, the Nats said they could not do if they also re-signed Strasburg, though I suspect that’s just posturing too. They may not want to spend big money to keep their World Series core together, but they can afford it. They’re going to see, I suspect, an eight-figure uptick in revenue by virtue of being the defending World Series champs. They are poised to receive a significant payout as a result of recent rulings in their own multi-year dispute with the Orioles and the MASN network. They are, of course, owned by billionaire real estate moguls. All of that taken together means that, if they choose to, they can bring back Rendon. Assuming he chooses to come back too.
But, if that doesn’t happen, they appear to be giving themselves options at the hot corner.