Ian Desmond Opts Out of Second Straight Season Amid COVID-19 Concerns

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Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond announced on Sunday he will opt-out of the 2021 season, marking his second straight year out of baseball amid the COVID-19 crisis.

"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 detailed his decision to opt out of last season in June 2020. In addition to the coronavirus, Desmond noted the need to be with his family following the death of George Floyd.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk that I am not comfortable taking,” Desmond wrote then. "With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what's going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now.

"Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys' questions about Coronavirus, Civil Rights and life. Home to be their dad."

Desmond will forfeit $8 million in salary if he misses the entire 2021 season. He also missed out on $5.56 million in 2020. The Rockies have a team option for the final year of Desmond's contract before the 2022 season. 

In 2019, Desmond hit .255 with 20 home runs, but for the most part he's struggled in his three seasons with Colorado. A career .263 hitter, the shortstop-turned-outfielder has tallied 181 career homers in 11 seasons with the Nationals, Rangers and Rockies.

There were 18 players who opted out of the 2020 season because of the pandemic. Desmond is currently the lone player to opt out of this one, too.