Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander David Price became the latest player to opt out of the 2020 season on Saturday. He announced his decision with a message on his social media accounts.
Here's Price's explanation in whole, as originally shared on his Twitter account:
Dear Dodgers Nation,
After considerable thought and discussion with my family and the Dodgers, I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my family's health for me to not play this season. I will miss my teammates and will be cheering for them throughout the season and on to a World Series victory. I'm sorry I won't be playing for you this year, but look forward to representing you next year.
Stay safe, be well, and be kind. And Go Dodgers!
The Dodgers issued this statement in response to Price's decision:
The Dodgers fully support David's decision to sit out the 2020 season. We have been in constant contact with David and we understand how much this deliberation weighed on him and his family. We know he'll be rooting for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021.
The Dodgers acquired Price, along with outfielder Mookie Betts, as part of an offseason trade with the Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers sent Alex Verdugo, infielder Jeter Downs, and catcher Connor Wong to Boston.
Unlike Betts, who is a free agent at season's end, Price is under contract through the 2022 season. Unless he's deemed to be a high-risk individual, he'll forfeit his salary from this season (more than $10 million).
Price had been expected to be the Dodgers' No. 3 starter, behind Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers could now turn to Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, or Tony Gonsolin in his place -- if, that is, any season is to be played.
Earlier in the week, a handful of players exercised their right to sit out the season, including Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross, Mike Leake, and Ian Desmond. Price is arguably the biggest name player to do so to date.
Major League Baseball originally scheduled its season to begin on March 26. The spread of the novel coronavirus forced the league to hit pause about two weeks beforehand. The season is now expected to begin on July 23, although it stands to reason that the state of the pandemic could force the league to scrap those plans.