Rockies' Ian Desmond opts out of second straight season due to COVID-19


Feb. 21 (UPI) — Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond announced Sunday he is opting out of a second consecutive Major League Baseball season because of COVID-19 concerns.

“For now, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2021 season,” Desmond wrote on Instagram. “My desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances. I’m going to continue to train and watch how things unfold.

“… I’ve let my teammates know, as well as the coaching staff and the front office, and they have all been extremely understanding and supportive. I wish nothing but the best for the entire Rockies organization and have let them know I am willing to do whatever I can to help them from afar.”

Desmond has now walked away from a combined $13.6 million over the last two seasons. According to Spotrac, the two-time All-Star selection was owed $8 million this year and was scheduled to earn $5.6 million of his prorated $15 million salary in the 2020 season.

The Rockies have a $15 million option on Desmond for next season with a $2 million buyout.

The 35-year-old Desmond had a .255 batting average with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs in the 2019 campaign, his third in Colorado.

In Desmond’s absence, Rockies outfielders Garrett Hampson, Yonathan Daza, Sam Hilliard and Raimel Tapia could see more playing time. Bret Boswell, who was an eighth-round pick in the 2017 amateur draft, and veteran Chris Owings also could have more time in the outfield.

The Rockies are scheduled to begin full team workouts Tuesday in Arizona.


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