Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake has become the first MLB player to publicly opt out of participating in the shortened 2020 season.
MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert was the first to report Leake’s decision, and it was confirmed by Arizona GM Mike Hazen.
Leake’s agent Danny Horwits issued a statement saying Leake and his family took many personal factors into consideration when making the decision, and the pitcher is looking forward to returning in 2021. He will miss out on roughly $5 million by sitting out the season.
Mike Leake is set to be a free agent after the 2020 season. Here is an explanation of his opting out from his agent, Danny Horwits. pic.twitter.com/dtlZm4OC5E
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 29, 2020
Leake is highly unlikely to be the last player to make this decision. Health and safety are major concerns right now, and if players do not feel safe playing, they have every right to opt out of doing so. Several NBA players, including some fairly important ones, are doing the same in that sport.
Acquired by the Diamondbacks last July in a trade with the Mariners, Leake went 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA in 10 starts for Arizona last season. The 32-year-old was expected to challenge for a spot in the back of the Diamondbacks’ rotation.