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Injured Yoenis Cespedes agrees to pay cut in grievance settlement

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NEW YORK — Yoenis Cespedes‘ salary for 2019 was cut in half and his pay for 2020 significantly reduced as part of a settlement of a grievance between the injured outfielder and the New York Mets.

Cespedes agreed to a $110 million, four-year contract in December 2016 but hasn’t played since July 20, 2018. The outfielder had surgery to remove bone calcification from his right heel on Aug. 2, 2018, and his left heel that Oct. 26.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, Cespedes’ former agent, said in late May the outfielder suffered multiple right ankle fractures in an accident at Cespedes’ ranch in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where the club’s spring training complex is located.

New York withheld part of Cespedes’ salary, alleging he was hurt during an activity prohibited by his contract’s guarantee language. The players’ association filed a grievance, and the sides settled on an amended contract before the case was argued.

“The club has reached an agreement with Yoenis Cespedes to amend and restructure his contract,” the team said in a statement Friday. “Cespedes remains under contract with the Mets through the 2020 season.”

Van Wagenen said last month he was uncertain whether Cespedes would play in 2020.

Cespedes had been owed $29 million this year and $29.5 million in 2020. His 2019 pay was cut to $14,811,828, according to Mets’ payroll information made available to all clubs.

The amended contract will significantly lower his 2020 guaranteed salary from $29.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Cespedes will have the chance to earn additional bonuses.

A two-time All-Star, the 34-year-old has played in only 119 games in the first three seasons of the contract — just 38 since the end of the 2017 season.

Minor league instructor and former Mets player Endy Chavez posted and then deleted video on Nov. 19 of Cespedes taking swings.

Also Friday, former All-Star right-hander Michael Wacha and the Mets completed a $3 million, one-year contract that includes $8 million in performance bonuses. Wacha can earn $7 million under a points system and $1 million for relief appearances.

New York’s starting rotation includes Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz, and the Mets have a pending $10 million, one-year deal with Rick Porcello.

“I’ve got my mindset going in as a starter right now,” Wacha said. “Down the road, who knows what’s going on. But my mindset going in is definitely a starter. “

The 28-year-old Wacha starred as a rookie for the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals in 2013, winning NL Championship Series MVP, but he has been hampered by injuries since. He had a 4.76 ERA over 126⅔ innings last season in 24 starts and five relief appearances. He was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain in September and did not pitch in the playoffs.

“I’m very confident in the work that we’ve been putting in in the offseason, preparing for this next season,” he said. “I’m very confident with the guys I’m working out with.”

As a rookie in 2013, he was teammates with new Mets manager Carlos Beltran. Wacha referred to Beltran as “El Caballo” — the horse.

“I was very fortunate enough to play with him in 2013 and just see the way he prepared for the game. He knows the amount of work that goes into being a very successful ballplayer,” Wacha said. “He really is the best, an unbelievable knowledge about the game.”

Wacha was an All-Star in 2015, when he went 17-7.

“I was attacking the zone. I was not getting in trouble with walking guys,” he said.

He is represented by CAA, where Van Wagenen was an agent before the Mets hired him in late 2018.

Wacha would earn a point toward a bonus for each start or each relief appearance of three or more innings, getting $500,000 each for points 10, 14, 18, 20 and each additional point through 30. He would get $250,000 apiece for 40, 45, 50 and 55 relief appearances.

He also has award bonuses of $50,000 for Cy Young, $25,000 for second and $10,000 for third; $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 each for League Championship Series MVP, making the All-Star Game and winning a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger Award.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Dinelson Lamet carries no-hitter into 7th inning as Padres beat Diamondbacks

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SAN DIEGO — Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and the rest of the San Diego Padres were way too much for winless Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Dinelson Lamet was brilliant in taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Tatis continued his remarkable power surge with a two-run homer off Bumgarner, who allowed four of San Diego’s club-record six long balls as the Padres beat the Diamondbacks 9-5 on Sunday.

Machado homered twice off Bumgarner. Wil Myers, Francisco Mejia and Ty France also went deep for San Diego.

Lamet (2-0) had allowed only one baserunner, on a hit by pitch, until Kole Calhoun homered on a 2-0 pitch leading off the seventh. Lamet got two more outs before manager Jayce Tingler pulled him in favor of rookie Luis Patino.

Lamet retired the first 14 Diamondbacks batters, struck out 11 overall and walked none in 6 2/3 innings. The hard-throwing right-hander hit Andy Young with a pitch with two outs in the fifth but otherwise kept Arizona off the bases until Calhoun’s homer.

The Padres remain the only major league team without a no-hitter, having played 8,154 games since 1969 without one.

“The saying we have is, hope is the last thing you lose,” Lamet said. “I’m not out there first pitch, first hitter, thinking, ‘OK, today I’m going to throw a no-hitter.’ I’m going out there to get outs. I get ahead of a guy, get two strikes, I’m trying to get quick outs, I’m trying to get you out with as few pitches as possible. I’m attacking. So in my mind, the result is going to take care of itself.”

Machado said Lamet had been locked in since Saturday.

“He told me yesterday, ‘Hey, hold down the fort today because tomorrow I’m coming in with some gas and I’m going to put out that fire.’ … Today since the first pitch, he was ready to go,” Machado said.

Lamet confirmed that conversation, saying: “Luckily, we were able to go out there and I was able to give a good effort and we won the game.”

San Diego took two of three in the series and is 5-2 against Arizona this season. With the Padres leading 9-1, Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly pitched the eighth. He allowed rookie Jake Cronenworth‘s leadoff double before retiring the side.

Arizona hit a pair of two-run homers off San Diego’s bullpen in the ninth.

Machado homered off Bumgarner in the first and second, and Myers also connected against the struggling left-hander, who was finished after two innings, matching his career low.

France and Mejia homered off reliever Taylor Widener in the third.

The six homers were the most the Padres have ever hit at home. It was the first time they’ve hit six homers in the first three innings, and just the fifth time that’s happened in the majors in 20 years.

Tatis, the son of the former big league infielder, drove a 2-2 curve an estimated 418 feet into the second deck with two outs in the second, his eighth homer, for a 5-0 lead. The 21-year-old shortstop has hit five in the last four games and six in six games. He hit four in this series, including leadoff shots Friday and Saturday nights. He connected twice Saturday night.

Tatis has been on base in 17 straight games dating to his last game of 2019, on Aug. 13. He missed the rest of the season with a stress reaction in his lower back but still finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

“Being 21 years old, he’s a freak athlete, he’s getting stronger, he’s lifting, he’s running, he’s moving well,” Tingler said. “He’s able to get barrel to ball, maybe on some more pitches he hadn’t been able to. He’s been working on his swing, shortening that up. You see the way the ball’s coming off the bat. He can leave the ballpark.”

Machado homered with one out in the first and Myers hit a two-run shot with two outs. Myers’ fifth homer brought in France, aboard on a walk.

After Tatis’ homer, Machado connected again, his third.

France greeted Widener with a homer leading off the third, and Mejia hit a two-run drive off the right-field foul pole with two outs. They were the first of the season for both.

Bumgarner (0-3) continues to struggle with the Diamondbacks, who gave him an $85 million, five-year contract in December after he spent a decade with the San Francisco Giants, helping them win three World Series titles in five seasons.

He allowed six runs and five hits in two innings, struck out two and walked two.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said the 31-year-old Bumgarner exited after experiencing back spasms.

Bumgarner also lost to the Padres on opening day, 7-2.

Young hit his first career homer, a two-run shot off Patino with one out in the ninth, and Nick Ahmed had a two-run shot off Tim Hill.

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Pirates vs. Cardinals series postponed because of coronavirus

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The Pittsburgh Pirates‘ series this week against the St. Louis Cardinals has been postponed because of the coronavirus, Major League Baseball announced.

The two teams were scheduled to play Monday through Wednesday in St. Louis.

MLB said Sunday night that the league and the Cardinals “believe it is prudent to conduct additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play.”

The Cardinals’ three-game series against the Chicago Cubs this weekend was also postponed after the league said two Cardinals players and one staff member tested positive for the coronavirus from samples collected over the previous two days.

The Cardinals announced Sunday that outfielder Lane Thomas also tested positive. In total, 10 Cardinals players and seven staffers have tested positive since last week. St. Louis hasn’t played since July 29.

There have now been 27 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 13 games scrapped.

Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Indians send Zach Plesac home for leaving hotel to go out in Chicago

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The Cleveland Indians sent starter Zach Plesac home after he violated team rules by leaving the hotel to go out in Chicago on Saturday, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The Athletic first reported the news on Plesac, who will be quarantined for 72 hours in Cleveland.

Plesac drove back to Cleveland in a rental car, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The right-hander tossed six strong innings in the Indians’ 7-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday in Chicago. Plesac is 1-1 on the season, with a 1.29 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched.

The Indians have been extremely stringent with safety protocols, and this action is seen as a warning to players. During summer camp, outfielder Franmil Reyes was ordered to stay away from the team after he was seen at a party without a mask.

Last month, Plesac, who has become a reliable starter for the Indians, spoke of the importance of players abiding by the “code of conduct” that every team was required to submit to MLB in hopes of completing the 60-game regular season.

“Definitely any time you can maintain social distancing is going to be what we have to focus on,” Plesac said July 3. “There are common sense situations, where you see things are packed or going out to the bars and drinking, doing stuff like that isn’t stuff that’s really important to us right now and shouldn’t be important to us right now.

“We’re given this privilege to be able to come back and play and given this short window to even play. It’s a good time now just to really buckle down and focus on what’s important and work toward something greater at the end of the season and, for these couple months, lock in and focus on what we have set for us at the end of the year.”

The Indians and White Sox wrap up their series in Chicago on Sunday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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