While it isn’t new, MLB has had multiple players opt-out because of COVID-19. MLB has had a few new opt-outs after a rocky first week of COVID-19 outbreaks that has suspended some action. As the list grows, MLB’s season is put into even more jeopardy. While some players are opting back in, some teams have taken some hard losses to their squad over the month as well. While these MLB teams will have players opt-out, it’s justified with the threat of COVID-19.
Kohl Stewart RHP Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles’ 25 year old RHP had posted a 3.68 ERA in 2018 but followed it up with a 6.36 ERA. The Orioles scooped him up as the Twins released him due to poor performance.
Collin McHugh RHP Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox newly acquired RHP Collin McHugh who was signed for a 1 year $600,000 deal last offseason told the Red Sox back in mid July about his decision. Over the last three seasons he had a 3.42 ERA, 3.66 FIP, and 3.69 SIERA. With how bad the BoSox pitching has been, it’s a huge blow for Boston.
Michael Kopech RHP Chicago White Sox: Part of the Chris Sale deal, the fireballing 24 year old hasn’t pitched since 2018 due to Tommy John. In his career in the MiLB he has a 3.05 ERA and a 11.7 SO/9.
Mike Leake RHP Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks lost a starter that has never started less than 30 games since 2011. He is a 4.19 ERA pitcher in the last three seasons and was a sturdy arm for the D-Backs.
Felix Hernandez RHP Atlanta Braves: After signing a one year “prove it” deal, King Felix has decided to opt-out. He owns a 5.42 ERA since 2017 so I don’t imagine he’s going to break that rotation.
Tim Collins RHP Colorado Rockies: A rough stint back after injury, he will opt-out. He has a 4.02 ERA and 4.84 SIERA since 2018. He’s going to opt-out after signing with the Rockies.
Ian Desmond OF Colarado Rockies While he has been a disappointment for the Rockies after he was signed to a 5 year $70 million deal in 2017. He has a 80 wRC+ and a -1.7 fWAR after averaging 131 games per year. The Rockies are going to need to get a suitable replacement to play out the 60 games Desmond can’t.
David Price LHP: Los Angeles Dodgers: The second piece of that Mookie Betts deal, David Price was going to be a solid arm for the Dodgers but he opted-out early. He has a 3.75 ERA and 3.88 SIERA over 358 innings since 2017.
Isan Diaz IF Miami Marlins: After the Phillies series that ended in COVID disaster, the Marlins big prospect Isan Diaz will be opting out. While the 24 year old has hit in the minors, in the MLB it’s been rough. In the MLB he only has a 52 wRC+ and a -1.3 fWAR in his first 51 games.
Lorenzo Cain OF Milwaukee Brewers: After the suspension of the Cardinals Brewers he decided to opt-out. The Brewers will be without their superstar outfielder who has been a defensive anchor for the Brew Crew.
Hector Noesí RHP Pittsburgh Pirates: After a rough season with the Marlins after coming back from the KBO, he had opted out before the start of the season. He had an above 8 ERA in 2019, so he wasn’t going to be a mainstay in the bullpen.
Buster Posey C San Francisco Giants: The Giants lost their franchise catcher as Buster Posey has two adopted twin children he wants to tend to. He had been a top 10 catcher since 2017 and the backstop of the Giants for a decade.
Jordan Hicks RHP St. Louis Cardinals: In 106.1 innings, Jordan Hicks has a 3.47 ERA and 3.96 SIERA in his young career. He’s a tough loss for the Cards as he’s been a pretty good reliever.
Wellington Castillo C Washington Nationals: The Nationals added Castillo as depth but he opted out before games began. Castillo has battled injury and suspension since 2017.
Joe Ross RHP Washington Nationals: Injuries and struggles to perform well in the MLB has held back Joe Ross’ career. While he was going to get a key opportunity this year, he was concerned of COVID.
Ryan Zimmerman 1B Washington Nationals: The longest tenured National had opted out early. He was the starting 1B option and a key veteran bat for the Nationals.
Tyson Ross RHP FA: Despite a promising comeback story, he will be joining his brother in an opt-out. He had a rough 2019 but his 2018 showed promise. Despite the progress made, his concerns of COVID-19 were a priority.
This season puts a lot at risk and MLB will see players continue to opt-out as COVID-19 gets scarier.
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