Major League Baseball had a number of player opt-outs during the 2020 season due to the pandemic, but just about everyone is back for 2021. One notable player has opted out for the second year in a row, though.
Ian Desmond, a two-time MLB All-Star and current outfielder for the Colorado Rockies, has decided to opt out of the season.
“For now, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2021 season,” Desmond wrote in an Instagram story. “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.”
Desmond has walked away from $13.56 million over the past two seasons. He signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Rockies in free agency in 2016.
“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,” Desmond added. “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.”
Ian Desmond has announced that he is opting out of the 2021 season “for now.” pic.twitter.com/fZXTRrufjY
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) February 21, 2021
Rockies manager Bud Black addressed Desmond’s decision today, admitting it was more difficult than last year’s. However, Black added that it didn’t come as a total surprise.
#Rockies manager Bud Black says that Ian Desmond’s decision to opt out this year was much harder than a year ago.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 21, 2021
Desmond’s future with the team is now unclear. He has a 2022 club option for $15 million or a $2 million buyout.
The former Washington Nationals star is a career .263 hitter with 181 career home runs and 711 RBI.