You cannot thank Yoenis Cespedes’ frequent absence from Citi Field for Dellin Betances’ presence there. Or at least Brodie Van Wagenen won’t do so.
With Cespedes agreeing to cut $6.1 million from his 2019 earnings and another $23.5 million from 2020 — with a chance to earn back $14 million of that with good health and playing time — as a result of the season-ending right ankle injury he suffered last May at his Port St. Lucie ranch, the Mets gained obvious financial flexibility. Their estimated luxury-tax number dropped from $216.7 million to $187 million, per Spotrac, with the threshold standing at $208 million.
That number rose to $197.5 million with the Mets’ signing of Betances, the All-Star setup man, to a one-year, $10.5 million contract.
“The specifics of Cespedes’ resolution didn’t necessarily drive this decision,” Van Wagenen said Thursday at the introductory news conference for Betances. “It was more the desire to get this player.”
The Mets first expressed interest in Betances at the general managers’ meetings in November, Van Wagenen said, at which point Cespedes’ situation remained unresolved.
“When we went into the offseason…