New York Mets: Yoenis Cespedes may not have a future left

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets watches from the dugout before an MLB baseball game against the San Diego Padres on July 23, 2018 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Padres won 3-2. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets watches from the dugout before an MLB baseball game against the San Diego Padres on July 23, 2018 at Citi Field in the Queens borough of New York City. Padres won 3-2. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
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After his abrupt decision to leave the New York Mets and opt-out of the 2020 season, Doc Gooden thinks that Yoenis Cespedes will not be able to continue his career.

August 2 was a strange day for the New York Mets and Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets designated hitter had struggled in the early going, which was to be expected as it had been nearly two years since his last major league game. He had remained in the lineup, as the Mets needed his powerful bat in their quest to return to the postseason.

But on that day, Cespedes disappeared. He did not arrive at the ballpark by first pitch, and he was not in his hotel room. He had completely disappeared. Eventually, it was learned that he had decided to opt-out of the remainder of the season, despite not notifying the Mets of his intentions.

That opt-out, and the way it was handled, could drastically impact Cespedes going forward. Former Mets star Doc Gooden stated that he felt that move could lead to Cespedes being blackballed for next year, if not beyond.

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Cespedes’ claims that he opted out due to concerns over COVID-19 were seen as questionable at best. Prior to his decision, he had complained about his playing time, as he felt the Mets were trying to keep him from reaching various performance bonuses. One such conversation took place between Cespedes, manager Luis Rojas, and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen – his former agent.

One cannot blame the Mets for taking him out of the lineup. In his 34 plate appearances, Cespedes had produced a .161/.235/.387 batting line, striking out 15 times. Yes, he had hit two homers, but in a 60 game season, the Mets could not wait for Cespedes to figure things out. It was going to take time, which was not something either side had on their side.

The best option for Cespedes would have been to play the season out and show that he was healthy. A rough year could have been explained away to two years of rust, making him an intriguing buy-low candidate on a one year deal to prove he could still contribute. At 35 years old in 2021, that is not outside the realm of possibility.

Instead, Cespedes, seemingly under the guise of concerns about the pandemic, decided that it would be better to take his ball and go home. That type of behavior is remembered by teams going forward in the offseason. His lack of production and injury history were already working against Cespedes as an impending free agent; now his attitude will also be a factor.

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Yoenis Cespedes has sabotaged his free agency. If Doc Gooden is correct, it may be a shock to see Cespedes on the diamond next year, even if he is healthy.