TMZ Posts Video of Yoenis Cespedes Dancing at Restaurant Weeks Before Opting out

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2020

New York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes reacts after striking out against Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Marcus Walden in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Yoenis Cespedes appeared in just eight games for the New York Mets before opting out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns. However, about two weeks before games began, Cespedes was dancing in a bar with a woman while not wearing a mask.

TMZ Sports obtained the clip, reporting Cespedes and his companion were allowed to take the dance floor even though it was closed to regular patrons. The person who provided the clip said the restaurant was "packed" despite looking sparsely populated in the video.

Cespedes opted out of the 2020 season Aug. 2 by failing to show up to the ballpark, packing his bags and departing before informing the team. There was a brief period in which the Mets said they were unable to locate him when he did not show up to the ballpark as scheduled.

Reports instantly indicated there was more to the story than health concerns. Mike Puma and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Cespedes felt the Mets were purposefully limiting his playing time so he would not hit performance bonuses in his contract. A day before he left the team, Cespedes spoke to manager Luis Rojas and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen about his playing-time issues.

Both Rojas and Van Wagenen said Cespedes' playing time was not related to any contractual bonuses.