Yoenis Céspedes, who did not report to the ballpark for Sunday's game in Atlanta, has opted out of the 2020 season for "COVID-related reasons," the New York Mets told NBC News.
The outfielder and designated hitter didn’t report to the ballpark for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves and hasn’t communicated with anyone.
“He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement at the time. “Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”
An article published on the MLB's website said that "word from the Mets was that the team, as of Sunday afternoon, had no reason to believe Céspedes' safety is at risk."
Later, Van Wagenen confirmed to NBC News that Céspedes' absence was due to "COVID-related reasons."
Céspedes, nicknamed La Potencia, made his Major League Baseball debut on March 28, 2012, for the Oakland Athletics. He has also played for the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. Primarily a left fielder in his early career, the Cuban-born outfielder has split between left and center field since joining the Mets in 2015.
From Campechuela, Cuba, Céspedes played eight seasons until 2010 for the Alazanes de Granma in the Cuban National Series. He was also a member of the Cuba national team, winning gold medals in three tournaments.
A two-time All-Star, in 2015 he played in his first World Series as a member of the Mets. In this year's season opener against the Atlanta Braves, he hit a home run for a 1–0 victory, becoming the first designated hitter to hit a home run in a National League game.