(Atlanta) Powerful New York Mets slugger Yoenis Céspedes has made the decision not to play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Céspedes did not show up at the stadium on Sunday to take part in the game between the Mets and the Atlanta Braves. The New York team then made it known that they had not been able to make contact with him.
Mets chief executive Brodie Van Wagenen said the organization has learned from Céspedes' agent that he will not be returning due to COVID-19.
Céspedes was shut out in four batting appearances in a 7-1 loss on Saturday night. So he's likely to end his season with a .161 (5-for-31) batting average and 15 strikeouts.
Céspedes, 34, was back in the lineup this season for the first time since July 20, 2018. He has missed most of the last two campaigns with a series of one-leg problems; he had surgery on both heels and then suffered a broken ankle from a fall at his Florida ranch while trying to catch a wild boar.
Céspedes is the Mets' hitter of choice this season, having benefited from the new rule that allows National teams to use a hitter of choice.
Since he did not start the season on the injured list due to his foot injury, his salary increased from 2.2 million (it was supposed to be 6 million before the season was cut short) to 4 million (11 million before the change).
The Mets took the opportunity to make two trades. They acquired outfielder Billy Hamilton and they traded pitcher Tyler Bashlor.
Hamilton was acquired from the San Francisco Giants in return for right-hander Jordan Humphreys. Hamilton, 29, was part of the Giants' 60-man roster, but has yet to play this season.
Bashlor was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for a sum of money.