A baseball player on the New York Mets has opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19-related concerns, reports NBC New York, a decision that caught management by surprise.
Outfielder Yoenis Céspedes didn’t show for the Mets’ game against the Atlanta Braves Sunday afternoon and didn’t immediately reach out to the team to explain his absence.
General Manager Broadie Van Wagenen in a statement said the 34-year-old “did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence” and that “attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful,” but later confirmed the slugger said he would sit out the 2020 season “for COVID-related concerns.”
Van Wagenen also told news outlet NY1 the timing of Céspedes’ decision was “surprising without question.”
ESPN reported that the Mets sent security to Céspedes’ room and found it empty. He had taken his belongings without notifying anyone. The news outlet also reported that Céspedes informed the team of his decision through his agent in the middle of the game.
Céspedes was in attendance for Saturday’s game.