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Mets don’t know if Yoenis Céspedes will play in 2020

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Am I the only one who basically forgot all about Yoenis Céspedes? No? OK, good.

The Mets outfielder’s name came up today during Carlos Beltrán’s introductory press conference as the Mets new manager. Specifically, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was asked if Céspedes would play in 2020. Van Wagenen said it was “too early to tell,” and said “I don’t have enough information to predict when he’s going to be back.”

Céspedes had season-ending surgery on the heels of both of his feet in 2018 and then, earlier this year, while recovering from that, he suffered multiple fractures in his right ankle after falling into a hole on his ranch in an incident that was initially reported as him falling off a horse. He and the Mets quickly backed off of that, saying no horse was involved. I imagine it’s pretty complicated and that there are insurance and contractual implications involved depending on what, actually, caused his injury. What is universally agreed upon, however, was that the injuries were serious and ruled out Céspedes resuming athletic activity any time soon. Based on Van Wagenen’s comments, it sounds like the Mets outfielder is still a long way away from that.

If and when he does come back, he will have missed nearly two years of action. Maybe more. He’s 34 now. He made $29 million in 2019 and is slated to make $29 million next season on the four-year, $110 million deal he inked following the 2016 season, which means that the Mets are incentivized to get him on the field at some point in 2020.

But if he doesn’t make it back in 2020, it’s not insane to think that his baseball career will be in jeopardy.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).