New York Mets: The forgotten Yoenis Cespedes

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets watches from the dugout before an MLB baseball game against the San Diego Padres on July 23, 2018 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Padres won 3-2. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets watches from the dugout before an MLB baseball game against the San Diego Padres on July 23, 2018 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Padres won 3-2. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
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It is easy to forget about Yoenis Cespedes, but he is still a part of the New York Mets. He could even be a viable part of the lineup – if healthy.

July 20, 2018. On that day, Yoenis Cespedes returned to the New York Mets lineup, going 2-4 with a home run, a walk, and two runs scored. He had missed over two months prior to that appearance, but was able to serve a reminder as to the player that he could be. However, that was also the last time Cespedes appeared in the lineup for the Mets, as he has been on the Injured List since.

Those injuries have been a common theme for Cespedes. Since signing his four year, $110 million contract after the 2016 campaign, Cespedes has played in a total of 119 games. He missed all of 2019 due to his recovery from surgery on both heels, and a fractured ankle suffered when he stepped in a hole at his ranch.

When he has been on the diamond, Cespedes has been productive. In those 119 games, he has posted a .282/.343/.525 batting line, hitting 26 homers and 23 doubles. That production has been worth a 132 OPS+, a number that would have been right at home in the midst of the Mets lineup.

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In theory, the Mets do have a possible opening in the outfield next season. While center is their biggest concern, Brandon Nimmo has performed relatively well at the position. With Michael Conforto in right, there is a possible opening in left.

The Mets do have options. J.D. Davis was a revelation after being stolen from the Astros, but may fit best in a utility role as he can play both corner infield and outfield spots. Jeff McNeil, like Davis, was a surprise last season, but may also fit better as a utility player. Cespedes could have a spot in the lineup.

If he is healthy, Cespedes will play. He is due to receive $29.5 million in 2020, making him the highest paid player on the roster. That contract, which the Mets were so happy to sign after his stellar 2016 campaign, will hamstring the franchise as they look to get back to the postseason. Unless… Unless Cespedes can be the player he had been in the past.

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As the New York Mets look to improve their roster, there may be an internal option. Yoenis Cespedes, if he is healthy, could be an impact bat in the middle of their lineup. However, that is a giant if.