Van Wagenen said the club had no idea Cespedes was planning to opt out, Healey reports. The GM added that the two-time All-Star's agent called the Mets toward the end of Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves and told them of Cespedes' decision.
"We support every player's right to make this type of decision," Van Wagenen said. "It was surprising, without question."
Van Wagenen said the Mets sent security to Cespedes' hotel room Sunday when he unexpectedly didn't show up to the ballpark prior to the afternoon contest, according to Healey. The 34-year-old wasn't there and his belongings were gone.
The club will put Cespedes on the restricted list, Van Wagenen told Healey.
Cespedes confronted team officials about his playing time twice over the Mets' first nine contests of the 2020 season, and he was concerned the team would keep him out of the lineup to prevent him from obtaining performance bonuses, sources told Mike Puma and Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Cespedes returned to New York's lineup this season after not playing since 2018 due to multiple injuries. He's in the last campaign of a four-year, $110-million deal he inked in November 2016.
Had he not opted out, Cespedes could have earned a total of $7.41 million over the shortened season through incentives tied to plate appearances. He was on pace for 204 through Saturday, a figure that would have raised his earnings to $6.67 million from his pro-rated base salary of $4.07 million, according to Tim Britton and Marc Carig of The Athletic.