New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes did not show up to the ballpark on Sunday for the game against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, creating concern over his whereabouts for a few hours. Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen announced after the game that Cespedes has opted out of the 2020 season, hence his absence.
Cespedes opts out of 2020 season
Cespedes will not play the rest of the 2020 season, which represented a comeback from multiple lower-body injuries that sidelined him for all of 2019 and most of 2018. Van Wagenen made the announcement after the Mets’ 4-0 loss.
Cespedes opts out, says BVW.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) August 2, 2020
He joins Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain in opting out as concerns heightened following multiple COVID-19 outbreaks around the league.
The news came three hours after the Mets released a statement saying Cespedes did not arrive for work and they couldn’t reach him. After the game, Van Wagenen told reporters the team sent security to his hotel room when he did not report to the ballpark, and found that both he and his belongings were gone.
Mets: Cespedes didn’t report, unreachable
The team issued an alarming statement around 1:30 p.m. saying they did not know where Cespedes was and that “attempts to contact him have been 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
The Mets game had started about 30 minutes prior to their release of the statement. Cespedes had not been in the lineup. About an hour afterward, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the team did not believe the outfielder’s safety was at risk. There was still no word as to if they knew where Cespedes was or if they had heard from him. Van Wagenen, in his postgame announcement, said Cespedes’ agent informed the team of the opt-out decision during the game.
Van Wagenen said the team did not have any sense that Cespedes was considering an opt-out. Team found out late in the game, he said.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) August 2, 2020
Cespedes was 1-for-12 with five strikeouts in the past three games. In his first game back with the Mets since July 2018, he hit a historic home run on July 24.
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