After Yoenis Cespedes did not show up for the New York Mets’ game Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen announced that Cespedes decided to opt-out for the remainder of the season due to COVID-19 related issues.
Cespedes was not in the lineup after playing in five straight games following his return after nearly a two-year absence. Early in the game, the Mets released a statement saying their attempts to contact him “have been unsuccessful.”
The Mets sent a security team to the hotel and found his room to be empty. They then learned through his agent that he had decided to opt-out.
"It was surprising, without question"
Brodie says the Mets were surprised by Yoenis Cespedes opting out, but they support his decision pic.twitter.com/OFHf3VSa0E
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 2, 2020
Cespedes’ Mets Career
In what was the final year of Cespedes’ contract, the slugger struggled to start the season. He had a pair of home runs but was hitting .161. He also struck out in 15 of his 34 plate appearances this year.
Cespedes returned to the team after having surgery on both his heels in 2018. He then broke his ankle after an incident with a wild boar the following year. This was all after the Mets acquired Cespedes at the trade deadline in 2015. He helped the Mets advance to the World Series and hit 17 home runs in the final 57 games of the regular season.
Cespedes then signed with the Mets for three years and opted out of his contract following the 2016 season. However, he later agreed to a new deal with New York for four years and ended up playing in a total of 127 games, which he was supposed to receive $110,00,000. The Mets then reconstructed Cespedes’ contract before the start of the 2020 season as a result of his ankle injury.
Impact on Team
While the Mets will miss his power bat, it will allow. playing time for some younger players. Yoenis Cespedes had yet to play the field and took time away from players like Dominic Smith and Andres Gimenez. This will allow New York to let J.D. Davis, Robinson Cano, and Smith to get opportunities as the DH. The Mets also acquired Billy Hamilton in a trade with the San Francisco Giants earlier Sunday morning before knowing about Cespedes’ decision.
Embed from Getty Images