Security sent by team management to the Hotel des Mets found no trace of Céspedes or his personal belongings, and the team remained unaware of the 34-year-old’s decision not to play the remainder of the season until the end of the game against the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets had previously released a statement saying Céspedes did not explain his absence before the game and that attempts to contact him had failed.
“When we showed up at the stadium this morning, he was not there, he was not there, we didn’t know why,” Van Wagenen told reporters.
“We were able to send a security team to the hotel, and then finally learned later that he was in good health, that he was not in danger and that he finally made the decision to withdraw from the season.
“We support the right of every player to make this type of decision. It is a difficult time for everyone and we will support them in this decision.
“It was surprising, without a doubt, and at the same time, we have to move forward and we must not allow anything that prevents us from moving forward and trying to win every game without distracting ourselves from it. . “
The Mets lost 4-0 to the Braves in Sunday’s game at Truist Park, the team’s seventh loss in 10 games since the delayed start of the MLB season in July.
By retiring from the season, Céspedes will forgo the money he is owed in the final months of a four-year, $ 110 million contract, according to MLB.
Manager Luis Rojas also spoke after the game about the confusion surrounding Céspedes’ disappearance.
“I text him, I call him, I get no response, and as we enter the game I wonder where he is,” Rojas told reporters.
“Obviously, throughout the game, I didn’t learn anything before the game, when I just heard the news that he stepped down for reasons related to Covid.”