According to Bob Klapisch of Bleacher Report, the Mets are investigating Yoenis Cespedes’ injury that took place on his ranch farm on May 20th. The 33-year-old already had been out for the entirety of this season rehabilitating from 2018 surgeries on both heels. Out of the Mets’ 324 regular-season games in 2017 and 2018, Cespedes missed 205 of them. He’s missed 64 games this season.
Cespedes claims he stepped in a hole and was not riding his horse. The Mets however are investigating how he actually broke his ankle to see if they can void his contract. He is owed 29 million dollars this year and next year.
Unless the Mets can provide video proof of Cespedes riding a horse and falling, it is going to be very hard to get his contract voided. The Mets will be getting roughly 70% of the $29 million owed to Yoenis Cespedes back via insurance this year.
MLB’s Uniform Player Contract:
Paragraph 3(a) instructs that a player agrees to “keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the Club’s training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship.”
Paragraph 5(b) is also potentially relevant. It instructs that players are forbidden from participating in other sports without the express permission of the club. The listed sports include pro boxing, pro wrestling, skiing, auto racing, motorcycle racing, sky diving, football, soccer, “professional league” basketball and ice hockey. Although horseback riding is not explicitly mentioned, the clause includes catchall language by prohibiting the player from involvement in any “other sport involving a substantial risk of personal injury.”
If Cespedes was indeed riding his horse then Paragraph 5(b) would allow the Mets to void his contract because horseback riding is considered a sport that comes with risk.