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Sports at a glance

Mets slugger opting out

ATLANTA — When the New York Mets finally found out Yoenis Cespedes was OK, they suddenly learned something else: The slugger had opted out of playing the rest of this season.

Hours after Cespedes didn’t report to the ballpark without explanation, the Mets discovered in the late innings of Sunday’s 4-0 loss to Atlanta that he wouldn’t be back this year because of coronavirus concerns.

“I am very surprised,” first-year manager Luis Rojas said. “Him and I have had conversations regularly about playing time, where he was going to hit in the lineup, building him up in the outfield.”

“Nothing like this, so this is definitely a surprise,” he said.

Cespedes went 0 for 4 during a 7-1 loss Saturday night in Atlanta. He is 5 for 31 (.161) with 15 strikeouts this season.

The Mets sent out a statement from general manager Brodie Van Wagenen in the early innings Sunday saying they couldn’t find Cespedes. Van Wagenen said the organization was later notified by Cespedes’ agent that he had decided to opt out for “for COVID-related reasons.”

Cespedes joined Giants catcher Buster Posey, Dodgers pitcher David Price and Washington infielder Ryan Zimmerman in opting out this season, all of them announcing their decisions before the virus-shortened 60-game season began in late July. Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis also chose not to play this year, then changed his mind.

The Associated Press

A two-time All-Star outfielder, the 34-year-old Cespedes celebrated his long-awaited return to the lineup with a home run on opening day that lifted the Mets over the Braves 1-0 at Citi Field.

The Associated Press

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