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Monday, June 29, 2020

Mike Leake To Opt Out Of 2020 Season

Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake is planning to opt out of participating in the 2020 season, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports (via Twitter). Leake becomes the first known player to choose not to play amid public health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, although others will surely follow suit.

D-backs general manager Mike Hazen has confirmed the decision, tweets Zach Buchanan of The Athletic. The details surrounding Leake’s decision aren’t known, nor need they be shared. As Hazen went on to tell reporters: “I think those conversations are personal in nature” (Twitter link via the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro). Leake’s agent, Danny Horwits, offered the following statement (via ESPN’s Jeff Passan):

“During this global pandemic, Mike and his family had many discussions about playing this season. They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has choen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the bet of luck and health for his Diamondback teammates this season and he’s looking forward to 2021.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 02:13 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus, mike leake

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   1. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 29, 2020 at 02:56 PM (#5960201)
I fully respect his decision, and he shouldn't get pushback/anger from fans/teammates/officials....


...but he will.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: June 29, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5960203)
Fascinating.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 03:31 PM (#5960217)
Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross of the Nationals have opted out.
   4. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 29, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5960228)
Leake's cumulative MLB salary: ~$80million

Zimmerman: ~$135million

Ross: $2million

The first two (and many other veterans) should be able to skip a (pro-rated) season without too much financial issue.

Guys like Ross (and others who haven't even reached arbitration) might not be able to weather taking a (pro-rated) year off.
   5. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5960230)
I dread the thought, but I wonder what the reaction will be if Mike Trout decides to opt out. My complete speculation is that he won't, since Mike Trout lives and breathes baseball (with a little bit of weather thrown in there). But he'd be a perfect candidate for it otherwise - he can clearly forgo any amount of money for this season and be doing alright, plus he has his first child due in August. He's already expressed concerns about how that sort of situation will be handled. Outside of being extremely disappointed they don't get to see Mike Trout play baseball, how will the public react? How will my fellow Angel fans react? I think Trout has more than earned the benefit of the doubt, but you never know.
   6. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5960233)
plus he has his first child due in August


That seems like a very good reason for saying no.
   7. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5960235)
Guys like Ross (and others who haven't even reached arbitration) might not be able to weather taking a (pro-rated) year off.


Per Wiki, "Ross has an older brother, Tyson Ross, who pitches in MLB. His father is a pediatrician and his mother an emergency room nurse in Oakland." There's probably a very nice basement at home.
   8. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: June 29, 2020 at 05:03 PM (#5960244)
I dread the thought, but I wonder what the reaction will be if Mike Trout decides to opt out. My complete speculation is that he won't, since Mike Trout lives and breathes baseball (with a little bit of weather thrown in there). But he'd be a perfect candidate for it otherwise - he can clearly forgo any amount of money for this season and be doing alright, plus he has his first child due in August. He's already expressed concerns about how that sort of situation will be handled. Outside of being extremely disappointed they don't get to see Mike Trout play baseball, how will the public react? How will my fellow Angel fans react? I think Trout has more than earned the benefit of the doubt, but you never know.


I thought of this immediately after I saw Leake opt-out. I have a feeling there is a pretty reasonable chance that Trout says, "screw it" and stays home. Also, he said he will absolutely be there for the birth, so he'd be gone a minimum of 14 days with the quarantine requirements anyway....

So, maybe it's Jo Adell in CF for the season opener?

   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 29, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5960246)
Too bad Ryan Zimmerman misses out on the celebratory season that traditionally follows winning the World Series, with a decent chance at another run for the Fall Classic, but he’s paid his dues and is entitled to do it his way.
   10. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 05:19 PM (#5960247)
That seems like a very good reason for saying no.


It does, and while I'd be bummed, I would be perfectly fine with him opting out to ensure he can be with his newborn child and ensure his family's safety.
   11. Astroenteritis Posted: June 29, 2020 at 08:46 PM (#5960286)
I will be surprised if more players don't opt out, and I have no problem with any player who decides to take a pass on this madness.
   12. JRVJ Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:14 PM (#5960290)
What I don't understand is why MLBPA was pushing so hard for playing MORE games, if some of its rank and files were having serious concerns about playing at all.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:19 PM (#5960292)
What I don't understand is why MLBPA was pushing so hard for playing MORE games
$.

To elaborate, $$.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5960296)
Rizzo, a cancer survivor, says he's looking to play - so far.
   15. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2020 at 10:32 PM (#5960301)
JRVJ -- it's not like it's inconsistent; the players who aren't playing 60 wouldn't have played 40, but on the other end are the players who'd continue if it were raining COVID.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 10:36 PM (#5960302)
Ian Desmond has opted out.
   17. frannyzoo Posted: June 29, 2020 at 10:57 PM (#5960309)
Desmond's explanation of opting out continues a salient question: Will a return to sports slow down and/or lessen to any degree the required focus needed to begin fixing systemic racism in this country? Because if so, we shouldn't re-start anything. If re-starting, in any league, can do the opposite and hasten that fix, go for it.
   18. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2020 at 11:08 PM (#5960313)
Good for Ian!
   19. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: June 29, 2020 at 11:29 PM (#5960315)
Mike Trout lives and breathes baseball (with a little bit of weather thrown in there).
ummm...he has at least one more topic of significant interest.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: June 30, 2020 at 01:19 AM (#5960323)
What I don't understand is why MLBPA was pushing so hard for playing MORE games, if some of its rank and files were having serious concerns about playing at all.

What #13 said. Also it was in part a "response" to what they considered an ownership offer that wasn't close to acceptable. (Surely they knew they weren't gonna play 114.) They also decided that pro-rata was more important than playing lots of games -- ownership would have been fine with 50% of a season for 37% pay, really never budged off of a number close to 37%, so the only way for MLBPA to increase $ was to increase games while refusing to budge off of pro-rata. Plus it remains to be seeh now much of the 'rank and file' object, how much of the pre-FA member object and they won the important right that any player could opt out (at the expense of salary and service time) rather than being "forced" back to work.

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