ATLANTA, Ga. — New York Mets slugger Yoenis Céspedes opted out of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, providing some clarity after the team said it was unable to locate him.
At the start of the game, the Mets were unsure where Céspedes was after the outfielder failed to report to the Atlanta ballpark for the team’s Sunday afternoon game against the Braves, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said.
Van Wagenen said Céspedes has not reached out to management with an explanation for his absence.
“Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful,” Van Wagenen concluded in the statement Sunday.
The game at Truist Park started at 1:10 p.m.
Sunday’s game is the sixth meeting between the two teams amid the MLB’s coronavirus-shorted 2020 season. Atlanta leads the season series 4-1.
Céspedes went 0 for 4 during the team's 7-1 loss Saturday night. He is 5 for 31 with 15 strikeouts this season.
A two-time All-Star, the 34-year-old returned to the lineup this season for the first time since July 20, 2018. He missed most of the past two years with a series of heel and ankle problems.
This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.