Yoenis Cespedes's unexpected absence can be explained by his sudden decision to opt out. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yoenis Cespedes was unexpectedly absent from the New York Mets’ game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, and that is because the veteran slugger has decided he no longer wants to play this season.

Following his team’s 4-0 loss to the Braves, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Cespedes is opting out due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Van Wagenen said the Mets will support Cespedes’ decision but that the team was “without question” surprised. Cespedes obviously gave no indication that he was considering opting out prior to Sunday, as he simply did not show up to Truist Park in Atlanta. The Mets even sent security to Cespedes’ hotel room and learned that he had packed up all of his belongings and left.

Cespedes hit two home runs in eight games this season and appeared healthy coming off a broken ankle and multiple heel surgeries. Sunday was not the first time a player went missing without the Mets knowing his whereabouts, though the circumstances were much different the last time.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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