Cespedes, 33, was to be evaluated by doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on Monday.
Cespedes signed his extension after a season in which he played in 132 games and was an All-Star. But the Mets’ investment in him was viewed as a risky commitment for a 31-year-old player, and the front office’s worst fears have largely come true since. Various injuries have limited Cespedes to 81 games in 2017 and 38 games last year. Even before the ankle injury, Van Wagenen said on Monday, Cespedes had been far from returning from his heel operations.
“We haven’t even thought about implications to a contract,” Van Wagenen said. “Our focus right now is on the player’s health and trying to get the right answers of what procedures need to be done, if any, and what the prognosis will be coming out of this.”
Cespedes helped power the Mets to the World Series in 2015 after being acquired just before the trade deadline that season in a swap with the Detroit Tigers. That winter, he signed a three-year contract worth $75 million to stay in Queens. He exercised his opt-out clause the next winter after another strong season — a .280 average, 31 home runs and 86 R.B.I.
But since then, he has had numerous injuries. In 2017, he missed time with hamstring and quadriceps ailments. Last year, he went on the disabled list on May 14 for a right hip flexor strain. He later suffered a setback while rehabilitating it in a minor league game, and the team announced that his season was over in July because of calcification and bone spurs in both heels.
After Cespedes went down last season, the Mets were unable to string together wins and fell below .500 by midsummer before finishing 77-85.
Callaway added Cespedes to a growing list of concerns Monday. After Van Wagenen was done talking, Callaway acknowledged that, like their absent outfielder, the Mets had also fallen into a hole.
“We have to climb out of it,” he said, “and I believe we will.”