Mets outfielder / DH Yoenis Cespedes has signed out for the remainder of the 2020 MLB season, ending another bizarre day in Mets history.
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen initially issued a statement on Sunday saying that Cespedes had not “reported to Truist Park in Atlanta” from the beginning of the game, and did not explain the player’s absence. The Mets also reported that their attempts to contact Cespedes were “unsuccessful.”
BREAKING: The Mets don’t know where Yoenis Cespedes is.
Team Statement: “As of the time of the game, Yoenis Céspedes has not reported to the baseball field today. He has not given the management any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have failed.”
– Tim Healey (@timbhealey) August 2, 2020
After the Mets’ 4-0 defeat to Atlanta, Van Wagenen announced that he had discovered during the game that Cespedes opted out of the remainder of the season as a precaution due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mets manager Luis Rojas said he called Cespedes and sent a text message prior to the game, but received no response.
Van Wagenen said the team was unsure of Cespedes’ safety at the time of the initial statement. Issued statement to be transparent. Had sent security to the hotel room and found that he packed up and left.
– Tim Britton (@TimBritton) August 2, 2020
MORE: Full List of MLB Players Who Signed Out
The athletic reported Sunday that Cespedes went to several teammates after the 7-1 defeat of the Mets on Saturday to say goodbye to them, but management did not reach his intention. A source also told The Athletic that Cespedes had changed his mind about playing after other teams suffered from COVID-19 outbreaks. The Marlins and Cardinals each had several players tested positive. The source also said that a member of the Cespedes family has a pre-existing condition.
The Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that Cespedes was concerned about the loss of playing time in the shortened season of 60 games and, consequently, opportunities to earn incentives in his contract. According to Post sources, Cespedes had spoken to management twice about his concerns, most recently Saturday with Rojas and Van Wagenen. He also knew before the team headed to Truist Park that he was not in the lineup on Sunday, those sources added.
The 34-year-old Cespedes has a tumultuous tenure with the Mets, which started in mid-2015. He missed the entire 2019 campaign after breaking his right ankle on his Florida ranch after a fight with a wild boar. The injury occurred while Cespedes was rehabilitating operations on both heels. Cespedes played in 127 games in his last four seasons with the Mets dating back to 2017, battling various injuries everywhere.
He has two homeruns through eight games this year. He can become a free agent after the season.