Ian Desmond will opt out of playing this season, the Colorado Rockies’ outfielder announced Monday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking,” he wrote at the end of a lengthy post on Instagram that touched on race and opportunities for youth baseball players.
Desmond, who was born in Sarasota, Florida, wrote that he’s not “leaving baseball behind for the year. I’ll be right here, at my old Little League, and I’m working with everyone involved to make sure we get Sarasota Youth Baseball back on track. It’s what I can do, in the scheme of so much. So, I am.”
Desmond has played 11 seasons, the past three with the Rockies. He batted .255 with with 20 home runs and 65 RBI in 140 games in 2019.
“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now,” he wrote.
Desmond had been due $5,555,556 for the prorated share of his $15 million salary, part of a $70 million, five-year contract, according to The Associated Press. He is owed $8 million next year, and his deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout.
Earlier Monday, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake and Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross announced they are opting out of the 2020 season.
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