The amended contract, which was first reported by SNY, includes a settlement for salaries that the Mets withheld in 2019 as well as a significant reduction of his 2020 salary.
The Mets will save well over $10 million as part of the settlement, sources tell ESPN.
The 34-year-old didn’t play all of last season while recovering from surgery to remove calcification on both of his heels. He has played just 119 games total since signing a four-year, $110 million deal before the 2017 season. He also spent time on the disabled list in 2018 with strains of both hamstrings.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said last month that he was uncertain whether Cespedes would play in 2020.
Despite his various ailments, Cespedes has been a difference-maker for the Mets when on the field. He sparked a run to the 2015 World Series by hitting 17 homers in 59 regular-season games. In January 2016, he signed a three-year deal with an opt-out clause after one season and went on to hit .280 with 31 homers and 86 RBIs in 132 games for New York, which reached the National League wild-card game.
Reds get OF Nick Castellanos on $64 million, 4-year deal
The Cincinnati Reds continued their busy offseason, matching the biggest free-agent contract in team history by agreeing to a four-year, $64 million deal with outfielder Nick Castellanos, the team announced Monday.
The deal allows Castellanos to opt out and become a free agent after the 2020 or 2021 seasons. He gets salaries of $16 million in 2020, $14 million in 2021, and $16 million in 2022 and 2023. There’s a mutual option for 2024 at $20 million with a buyout of $2 million.
Castellanos, who undoubtedly made some money for himself after his midseason trade from the Detroit Tigers to the Chicago Cubs, continued to be a doubles machine, with 58 between the two teams in 2019.
He has averaged 38 doubles in his six full seasons in the majors.
His power increased last season as well. After hitting 11 home runs in 403 at-bats for Detroit, Castellanos hit 16 with the Cubs in just 212 at-bats. His OPS+ of 151 in 2019 was easily the best of his career.
Castellanos’ deal matches the one the Reds gave to infielder Mike Moustakas this offseason. They will be tied as the second-highest-paid players on the roster behind Joey Votto, who makes $25 million each of the next four seasons.
Moustakas hit .254 with 35 homers and 87 RBIs last season and made the All-Star team for the third time.
Left-hander Wade Miley agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Reds in December. The deal includes a club option for 2022 that, if exercised, can bring the total value to $24 million.
Miley, 33, went 14-6 with a 3.98 ERA and 140 strikeouts for the Houston Astros during the regular season, but he tailed off badly down the stretch and — after making just one appearance during the American League Division Series — was left off the rosters for both the AL Championship Series and the World Series.
In early January, Cincinnati signed Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama to a three-year, $21 million contract.
Akiyama, 31, has played parts of nine seasons for the Seibu Lions of the Japanese Pacific League. The left-handed-hitting Akiyama batted .303 with 20 home runs and 62 RBIs in 143 games for Seibu last season.
Castellanos joins a crowded outfield that will get sorted out in spring training.
Akiyama was a five-time All-Star center fielder for Seibu but could move to a corner spot. The Reds already have center fielder Nick Senzel, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Aristides Aquino took over in right field last season after Yasiel Puig was traded to Cleveland and had a sensational debut, but he slumped as the season closed out. The Reds also have Jesse Winker and Phillip Ervin.
Drafted in the first round by Detroit in 2010, Castellanos, who turns 28 in March, has mostly played in obscurity. The Tigers made the postseason in 2014 but haven’t sniffed October since. After joining the Cubs, Castellanos was praised for the energy and hunger he brought to a team that was going in the wrong direction.
“He hasn’t won in a few years, so I completely understand that,” former teammate Ian Happ said. “What I see is just the joy of the game. Playing like a little kid. Enjoying a new team. That’s what it looks like.”
Upon joining the Cubs, Castellanos famously said that “every day is like Opening Day.”
His defense hasn’t rated as well as his offense, but he showed no issues in a difficult right field at Wrigley, though he profiles more in left. His big strength on offense is finding the gaps in left-center and right-center.
For his career, Castellanos is a .277 hitter with 120 home runs and 460 RBIs.
The Reds haven’t been to the playoffs since 2013, when they won 90 games and lost to the Pirates in the National League wild-card game. Cincinnati then launched into a rebuild, trading stars for prospects. The team lost at least 94 games annually from 2015 to 2018.
The Reds decided to try to become competitive again last season and acquired Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, Tanner Roark and Sonny Gray, who became an All-Star. Puig, Kemp and Roark were dealt during the season. Cincinnati finally escaped last place, finishing ahead of Pittsburgh with a 75-87 mark, and wasted a lot of solid pitching along the way.
With Castellanos heading to Cincinnati, Josh Donaldson to Minnesota and Marcell Ozuna to Atlanta, the top free agents are now all signed. Puig and utility man Brock Holt are likely the top free agents remaining.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Brewers re-sign RHP Shelby Miller to minor league deal
The team announced the move Monday on Twitter.
Miller, an All-Star in 2015 with Atlanta, was released by Texas last July and signed by the Brewers to a minor league deal. He made eight minor league starts, five at Triple-A San Antonio and three in rookie ball, but did not appear in a big league game for them and was released in late August.
The 29-year-old right-hander, drafted 19th overall by St. Louis in 2009, is 38-56 with a 4.11 ERA in 150 major league games, including 132 starts. He has pitched for the Cardinals, Braves, Diamondbacks and Rangers over eight seasons.
Miller, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017 with Arizona, signed a $2 million, one-year contract with Texas last winter. He was released on July 4 after going 1/3 with an 8.59 ERA in 19 appearances, including eight starts. In 44 innings, he gave up 58 hits and 29 walks for a 1.977 WHIP.
Miller went 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA for St. Louis in 2013, his first full big league season, and finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He led the majors with 17 losses in 2015 with the Braves, but compiled a 3.02 ERA in 205 1/3 innings. He has totaled only 82 big league innings over the past three years.
Clayton Kershaw — Astros haven’t shown ‘a lot remorse’
“It is a little bit interesting that the Astros players haven’t said sorry or meant it or anything like that,” Kershaw told the Los Angeles Times on Monday at the Justin Turner Foundation’s charity golf event in the Los Angeles area. “Just not a whole lot of remorse yet, which they did win a World Series and they’re not taking it back, so I don’t know. Maybe there isn’t. But it would be good to hear from some of those guys and just what they have to say about it and maybe mean it a little bit. It’d be good.”
Former Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, who is now with the Chicago White Sox, on Friday became the first member of the 2017 team to publicly apologize, saying the rest of his former teammates should do the same. Some of those players, most notably Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve, have declined that opportunity when approached by the media in recent weeks.
Last Saturday at the Dodgers’ FanFest, virtually every member of the team was consistent on one point — they have no interest in being awarded the 2017 World Series championship after the scandal.
“We don’t want a trophy,” longtime third baseman Justin Turner said at the event, alluding to a far-fetched resolution that was recently approved by the L.A. City Council. “We don’t want a fake banner hanging in our stadium. We didn’t earn that. We didn’t catch that final out to win a championship. We don’t want that.
Dallas Keuchel, who was a member of the 2017 Astros team, is personally sorry for the Astros sign-stealing scandal but thinks it’s time to move on.
“We just wanna move forward in 2020, get prepared this season, and do it the right way and get all those experiences — get to catch that last out, get to dogpile on the field, put on those shirts, put on those hats, have someone be the MVP and get a car, be in the locker room, spray the champagne, get sized for rings. Take that parade that L.A. is dying to have, and have that parade in downtown L.A., and do it the right way.”
An investigation by Major League Baseball determined the Astros used a center-field camera for real-time video of catchers’ signs and subsequently banged a trash can to alert their hitters of incoming pitches, confirming comments made by Mike Fiers to The Athletic a few months earlier.
The sign-stealing practice — which also included the more conventional method of using the video replay room to decode signs and relay them to a runner on second base — extended into the 2017 postseason, when the Astros ultimately defeated the Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series.
“At the same time, I can’t change it and we’re not going to win no matter what,” Kershaw told the L.A. Times. “So I’m just gonna move on.”
Information from ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez was used in this report.
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