Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets’ general manager, who represented Yoenis Cespedes when he was an agent, announced on Sunday afternoon that Cespedes had failed to show up to the ballpark in Atlanta where the team was playing the Braves, its division rival.
“He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence,” Van Wagenen said in a statement released by the team shortly after the game started. “Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”
The Mets (3-6) entered Sunday’s game on a four-game losing streak and in last place in the National League East.
For the majority of the last two seasons, the Mets have missed the power hitting of Cespedes, their highly paid outfielder. The list of reasons for his absences ranged from undergoing surgery on both heels during one off-season to injuring his right ankle during a fall at his Florida ranch during his rehabilitation.
Cespedes, 34, made an immediate impact as the designated hitter in the season opener when he stroked a home run to propel the Mets over the Braves, 1-0. It was his first home run since his previous major league game, on July 20, 2018.
But he has struggled since, posting a batting average of .161 through eight games. On Saturday, he struck out twice and was 0 for 4 as the Mets lost, 7-1.
The Mets acquired Cespedes from the Tigers just before the trade deadline in 2015 and rode his bat to the World Series. That off-season, he signed a three-year contract worth $75 million to remain a Met. He exercised his opt-out clause the next winter after hitting 31 home runs and 86 R.B.I.
Cespedes was viewed at the perfect complement to Pete Alonso, the reigning rookie of the year in the National League, as well as Jeff McNeil, a utility fielder who emerged as the team’s most consistent hitter last season during Cespedes’s absence.
Earlier Sunday, the Mets traded the right-hander Jordan Humphreys to the Giants for Billy Hamilton, a defensive-minded outfielder.