Yoenis Cespedes Thinks He’ll Play In 2019

15 Feb

Yoenis Cespedes

New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes says he thinks he will be able to return this season following surgery on both heels last summer, but he doesn’t know when he will be ready to play.

“I do feel like I will return. … It may be three months, it may be two months, it may be one month, but at this point, I do think I can return,” the 33-year-old slugger said Friday, speaking to reporters for the first time since camp opened. “When I do return, I plan on being 100 percent, like I was in 2015.

Cespedes was traded to the Mets at midseason in 2015 and helped power their drive to the NL championship. He hit 35 homers that season, with 105 RBIs and a .291 average.

But since signing a four-year, $110 million contract following the 2016 season, the two-time All-Star has appeared in just 119 games. He missed half the 2017 season with hamstring problems and played just 28 games last season before undergoing multiple surgeries on his heels to eliminate calcification and bone spurs.

As a Mets fan I want Cespedes back asap. But truth be told, the way long-term contracts like Cespedes’ have gone awry are a major reason why Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain free agents.

Jacob deGrom Gives Mets Deadline To Work Out Long-Term Contract Extension

12 Feb

Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom is putting the Mets on the clock.

After a winter of inactivity in long-term contract discussions, the reigning National League Cy Young award winner has informed team officials he will not negotiate a new deal during the season, an industry source told The Post on Tuesday. DeGrom’s camp has set Opening Day as the deadline to complete any potential long-term deal.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen initially declined comment, but he changed course after The Post report surfaced and addressed the issue following a voluntary workout by players on the reporting date for pitchers and catchers at First Data Field.

Van Wagenen called the decision not to negotiate beyond Opening Day as “mutual” between him and deGrom’s CAA agent, Jeff Berry.

“There is no reason for a distraction to carry into the regular season, and we will continue to have dialogue over this spring and see where those discussions lead,” Van Wagenen said. “But the last thing either side wants is this to be a distraction once the season starts.”

Remember, deGrom was already an All-Star before his Cy Young season last year. In other words, the Mets need to learn from past mistakes and lock up their best pitcher now.

Devin Mesoraco Returns to Mets with Minor-League Deal

9 Feb

Devin Mesoraco Jacob deGrom

The Mets are bringing back catcher Devin Mesoraco, who was acquired for Matt Harvey last May.

Mesoraco was signed to a minor-league contract and invited to major-league spring training, the club announced Thursday.

“Devin is greatly respected among our pitching staff and is extremely well prepared,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “We are hopeful he can contribute in 2019.”

Mesoraco, 30, played in 18 games for the Reds last season before coming to the Mets in the Harvey deal on May 8. He played 66 games for the Mets, hitting .222 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. Overall, he hit .221 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs.

Mesoraco was did his best work last year catching for Jabob deGrom.

Ed Kranepool Still Waiting For Kidney Donor

7 Feb

Ed Kranepool

The most difficult moment in Ed Kranepool’s long wait for a kidney transplant came only about a month ago. Some two years after it was determined the Mets icon would need one, a friend from Florida had volunteered and testing proved him a match. Kranepool was hosting him at his Long Island home when they decided on a date and called to schedule the procedure for the first week of January.

That’s when the bad news came. The friend had a prostate condition that ruled him out.

“I was devastated,” Kranepool said Wednesday night before he and Art Shamsky appeared at the Newsday campus for an event marking the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Miracle Mets and previewing the upcoming baseball season. “It sets you back because you have all your hopes up and you’ve finally gotten a match . . . It’s really hard when it is the most important thing to you.”

The 74-year-old Kranepool said friends tell him he “looks very good, which is better than I probably feel” and he regained his optimistic outlook after a couple days. He remains on a waiting list and has resisted dialysis and the lifestyle change it would bring.

Noah Syndergaard Says Mets ‘Definitely’ Team To Beat

5 Feb

Noah Syndergaard

After all the trade talk that involved his name, all the moves made by the Mets this offseason, Mets fans will love hearing this from Noah Syndergaard:

“I think where I am personally with my head space, I couldn’t be more pumped to be down here right now as an individual and team-based,’’ Syndergaard told The Post on Tuesday at Mets pre-camp, the first the big right-hander has attended. “The positive energy around us all is just going to propel us forward.’’

Syndergaard, who is sporting a new beard, is well aware new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said the Mets are the team to beat in the NL East.

Thor concurs.

“Most definitely,’’ he said. “Especially just being down here early. The serotonin release I just get from being around the other guys. It’s very uplifting. I can’t wait to get the ball rolling.’’

Key starters and the pitching rotation staying healthy, when and if Cespedes comes back and Bryce Harper and Manny Machado staying out of the NL East are IMO the keys to winning the division.

Jerry Blevins Agrees To Minor League Deal with A’s

4 Feb

Jerry Blevins

Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins has agreed to a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

The news was first reported by the New York Post.

It’s a homecoming for the 35-year-old Blevins, who pitched for the A’s from 2007-13 and was 13-6 with a 3.30 ERA and two saves during that span.

I’ll miss those epic Blevins vs. Harper matchups.