Former Giants right-handed pitcher Mike Leake became the first player officially to opt out of the 2020 MLB season.
Leake, now with the NL West-rival Arizona Diamondbacks, has put the well-being of himself and his family ahead of his career.
“During this global pandemic, Mike and his family had many discussions about playing this season,” Leake’s agent, Danny Horwitz, said in a statement on Monday. “They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has chosen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the best of luck and health for his Diamondback teammates this season and he’s looking forward to 2021.”
The 10-year veteran boasted a 4.05 ERA with a 1.281 WHIP and earned a Gold Glove in 2019 with the Seattle Mariners.
The 32-year-old also is not the only one to opt out of the upcoming season due to concerns associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and right-handed pitcher Joe Ross also have made the decision to not play in MLB’s 60-game season. They had the full support of general manager Mike Rizzo, as he said in a statement.
Zimmerman specifically has worries for his mother, Cheryl, who has multiple sclerosis and his three young children, one in whom is a newborn. And at the age of 35, he wanted to clarify the decision to not play in the upcoming season does not mean he’s retiring. He has plans to continue his career following 2020.
The three are the first reported to make the decision, but it’s almost certain they will not be the last.