New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes has decided to opt out of the 2020 MLB season. The news comes hours after the Mets released a statement they were unable to get in contact with him after he failed to show up for the Sunday afternoon game in Atlanta.

“It’s disappointing,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “This is a disappointing end at least to his four-year agreement with the Mets.”

The GM maintained the team had no knowledge of Cespedes’ plan to opt out before sending their statement out before game time on Sunday. Van Wagenen also did not know whether the slugger was safe and healthy before releasing an initial statement. He explained his statement was made in an effort to be transparent and keep the public informed, “in real time,” the GM said later.

“As of game time, Yoenis Cespedes has not reported to the ballpark today,” Van Wagenen’s statement read. “He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”

The Mets had sent security to Cespedes’ hotel room after being unable to contact him. They found his belongings were packed away and gone from the room.

“I am very surprised,” manager Luis Rojas said of Cespedes opting out.

Rojas texted and called Cespedes before the game, but he did not answer. His concern for the slugger grew after first pitch, Rojas explained.

Cespedes, 34, was in the Mets’ starting lineup on Saturday at Truist Park in Atlanta. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the team’s 7-1 loss to the Braves.

Prior to the game, manager Luis Rojas indicated Cespedes would not be in Sunday’s lineup.

The announcement of the lineup was also delayed, but when Rojas was asked directly if the team was waiting on any players to arrive, the manager chalked it up to the quick turnaround of Saturday night’s game to Sunday afternoon’s early arrival.

“Nothing in particular,” Rojas said on the delay of the lineup announcement. “We’re just arriving from the night-day game.”

Cespedes is in the final year of his contract with the Mets, which was restructured in January following his 2019 accident with a wild boar. He rehabbed from multiple surgeries on his heels and ankle and returned to play Opening Day in his first-big league game since July 2018.

The slugger is batting .161 (5-for-31) with two home runs, four RBI, two walks, three runs scored and 15 strikeouts from the designated-hitter spot across the first nine games of the season.

Tribune Wire

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