After Going AWOL, Mets Player Says He'll Skip Season Over COVID-19

Ruben Hill
August 5, 2020

Mets players aren't sure what to believe surrounding Yoenis Cespedes' odd departure from the team other than the fact the veteran outfielder has opted out from the season, citing COVID-19 concerns.

Van Wagenen said the Mets sent security to Cespedes' hotel room Sunday when he unexpectedly didn't show up to the ballpark prior to the afternoon contest, according to Healey.

Cespedes went 0 for 4 during a 7-1 loss Saturday night.

Van Wagenen said Cespedes' decision was due to "COVID-related issues".

"We learned during the game today, late in the game, that he has made a decision to opt out of the remainder of the season for COVID-related reasons", said Van Wagenen. He said there had been no previous conversations about Cespedes opting out. "This is a challenging time for everyone", Van Wagenen told reporters. "It was surprising, without question".

Van Wagenen finally says that the key points from their end are that they are "glad he's OK" and will "certainly support him and respect his decision as he goes forward".

Brandon Nimmo raised the possibility Monday that team officials actually knew before Sunday's game that Cespedes had opted out.

The Mets have left an army on the basepaths and are not pushing runs across, and it's been a big reason for their five-game losing streak as they sit in last place in the NL East. "This is definitely a surprise to me".

Cespedes batted.161 (5 of 31) with two homers and four RBIs in eight games this season.

Cespedes confronted team officials about his playing time twice over the Mets' first nine contests of the 2020 season, and he was concerned the team would keep him out of the lineup to prevent him from obtaining performance bonuses, sources told Mike Puma and Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The Cuba native is a two-time All-Star with a lifetime.273 batting average, 165 home runs and 528 RBIs in 834 games with the Oakland Athletics (2012-14), Boston Red Sox (2014), Detroit Tigers (2015) and Mets.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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