Mets outfielder/DH Yoenis Cespedes has opted out of the remainder of the 2020 MLB season, thus ending another bizarre day in Mets history.
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen initially released a statement Sunday saying Cespedes had not reported to Truist Park in Atlanta “as of game time,” and he did not offer an explanation for the player’s absence. The Mets also mentioned that their attempts to contact Cespedes were “unsuccessful.”
BREAKING: The Mets don’t know where Yoenis Cespedes is.
Team statement: “As of game time, Yoenis Céspedes has not reported to the ballpark today. He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) August 2, 2020
Following the Mets’ 4-0 loss to Atlanta, Van Wagenen announced he had found out during the game that Cespedes was opting out of the remainder of the season out of an abundance of caution given the coronavirus pandemic. Mets manager Luis Rojas said he had called and texted Cespedes prior to the start of the game and hadn’t received a response.
Van Wagenen said team was unsure of Cespedes’ safety at timing of initial statement. Issued statement to be transparent. Had sent security to hotel room and found he had packed and left.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) August 2, 2020
The Athletic reported Sunday that Cespedes went to several teammates after the Mets’ 7-1 loss Saturday to tell them goodbye but his intention did not reach management. A source told The Athletic that Cespedes had changed his mind about playing after other teams suffered COVID-19 outbreaks. The Marlins and Cardinals have each had multiple players test positive. The source also said that a member of Cespedes’ family has a pre-existing condition.
Cespedes, 34, has had a tumultuous tenure with the Mets, which began in mid-2015. He missed all of the 2019 campaign after fracturing his right ankle on his ranch in Florida following a battle with a wild boar. The injury occurred while Cespedes was rehabbing surgeries on both of his heels. Cespedes played in 127 games in his last four seasons with the Mets dating to 2017, battling various injuries throughout.
He has two home runs through eight games this year. He can become a free agent after the season.