New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been on the disabled list since May 14, but might eventually return with a new position in mind.
It didn’t take very long for the New York Mets to see how badly the offense suffers when Yoenis Cespedes isn’t playing on a daily basis. Although he’s not close to getting back on the active roster just yet, there’s a chance both he and the club will get creative in order to keep him healthy.
A report from Daniel Popper and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reveal Cespedes has not only told the Mets he’s open to playing first base, but he’s also taken grounders there while rehabbing in Port St. Lucie.
This would be an interesting development if it gained any significant momentum. Cespedes is a great athlete and has shown off a tremendous arm on numerous occasions since arriving in New York, but it doesn’t help when he’s on the disabled list so much. He’s only played 118 games since the start of 2017, and also missed a month of action in 2016.
Moving Cespedes over to first base — at least occasionally — would free up any potential roster logjam in the outfield, which is slated to include Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce, and Juan Lagares in the mix moving forward. That would be helpful, but putting him at a position that’s less stressful on his body could help the Mets actually get some return on their investment, too.
The soon-to-be 33-year-old is earning $29 million per season through 2020 and also has no-trade protection in his deal. So there’s some legitimate motivation with regard to keeping Cespedes on the field.
New York’s first step here is getting him back from what’s been categorized as a “chronic” issue in his heel. Once he gets back to the big leagues, the team will then have some flexibility to try him out in different roles since a run at the playoffs is basically out of the question for 2018.