- Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes opts-out of remainder of 2020 season
- Mets said Cespedes was unaccounted for this morning after failing to show up to Sunday’s game
- Cespedes was hitting .161 through eight games
On Sunday afternoon, New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen issued a statement in which he said the team could not locate star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes did not show up to the Mets’ game against the Braves in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, and the team said it could not reach him.
Van Wagenen said, “He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”
Cespedes Opts Out
The Mets added that they did not believe Cespedes’ safety was at risk, but they had not heard from him. However, he reportedly informed the team late in the team’s 4-0 loss to the Braves on Sunday afternoon that he has decided to opt-out of playing the rest of the season.
Mets oufielder Yoenis Cespedes has opted out of the 2020 season, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen says.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 2, 2020
Van Wagenen said after the game that the team sent security to Cespedes’ hotel room, but the room was empty. Cespedes had already packed his bags and left, just without telling his own team of his plans.
The 34-year-old had slashed just .161/.235/.387 through the first eight games of the season with two homers and four runs batted in. Cespedes was out of the Mets’ lineup on Saturday, and he seemingly made the decision to end his season early between then and Sunday. Cespedes had yet to play the field this season, having served as the team’s designated hitter for all eight appearances.
Cespedes hit a game-winning home run for the Mets on Opening Day, which was his first regular-season appearance in a major league game in over two calendar years. He endured a number of leg injuries over the previous couple of seasons. He had surgery on both of his heels and broke his ankle after falling at his home.
Mets Still Well-Stocked In Outfield
Earlier on Sunday, the Mets acquired outfielder Billy Hamilton in a trade from the San Francisco Giants. Hamilton certainly won’t fill the void left by the power-hitting Cespedes, but he figures to be in the mix for playing time in the outfield. Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and JD Davis have served as New York’s regular starting outfielders this season.
Van Wagenen said, “We support everybody and every player’s right to make this type of decision. This is a challenging time for everyone. It was surprising, without question. At the same point, we have to go forward and not allow anything to keep us from going forward.”
Cespedes is in the final year of his deal with the Mets, which means he will become a free agent after the season. Van Wagenen added that this was a “disappointing end” to the end of Cespedes’ four-year stint in New York.
The Mets’ loss to Atlanta Sunday was their fourth consecutive defeat and dropped the team’s record to just 3-7 through the first 10 games of this 60-game season. New York is sitting in last place in the NL East entering Monday.
On Saturday, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain and Miami Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz opted out of the rest of the season. Six teams have had games postponed in the past week as a result of COVID-19 concerns.