So, what the heck happened between the Met and Yoenis Cespedes? Well, it depends who you ask.
There’s general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s story that the Mets were scrambling to locate the veteran slugger and confirm he was OK, then there’s what Brandon Nimmo and some players were hearing around the clubhouse.
In a Zoom press conference with reporters on Monday, Nimmo said that he and his Mets teammates had heard that Cespedes’ agents informed the Mets that he was opting out of the season prior to the start of the game.
Nimmo said he had also heard Van Wagenen’s story and admitted he did not know which was true.
If there is any truth to what Nimmo was hearing, it certainly raises a few more questions about what transpired and how the Mets handled it, particularly why they released a statement in the first inning on Sunday’s game that they were unable to communicate with Cespedes and omitted confirmation of his safety.
Van Wagenen said in a press conference Sunday that it was not until after the statement was released did security check on Cespedes’ hotel room and found that he was gone along with all his belongings, and that they were informed of his decision to opt out during the game.
The fact that Nimmo would go as far as to admit on the record that there was another sequence of events transpiring within the clubhouse that differed from management’s is a little head-scratching, especially if it is just a rumor.
“I think he just felt like it was just his time to go,” Nimmo said. “Ces has always been great to me, the other teammates. He’s his own person, makes his own decisions. … He said it was for health concerns, so he didn’t want to be around this situation anymore. I don’t fault him for not saying goodbye if he felt like it wasn’t good for his safety.”
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso also spoke of the Cespedes drama on Monday, but said he did not know anything that was going on other than he had not shown up to the ballpark.
The only person who could corroborate what went down is Cespedes himself, but it doesn’t seem like he will speak with media any time soon.