Felix Hernandez opts out of 2020 season

Bill Shanks

Wilfredo Polidor, the agent for starting pitcher Felix Hernandez, tweeted Saturday night that his client will opt out and not play in the 2020 season.

Hernandez worked out with the Braves Saturday. It's unclear if Hernandez possibly was bothered by the news that four of his teammates had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Braves signed Hernandez to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp. After spring training started, and it was learned Cole Hamels would not start the season on time, it gave Hernandez a better chance to make the Atlanta rotation.

And Hernandez did very well in his four games during the Grapefruit League. He had a 1.98 earned run average, with three earned runs allowed on 13 hits in 13.2 innings, with five walks and 14 strikeouts.

Hernandez signed with the Braves to try and resurrect his career after a touch three season in Seattle. He was 15-27 between 2017 and 2019 with a 5.42 ERA in 60 games (59 starts).

In his 15-year career, Hernandez is 169-136 with a 3.42 ERA in 419 games (418 starts) and 2729.2 innings.

With the news that Hamels could now be ready to start the shortened season, Hernandez's departure may not be a problem for the Braves. However, Hernandez would have helped provide innings with starters not expected to go long in the early starts of the season.

Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb are locked into spots in the Atlanta rotation, with Hamels possibly getting the fifth spot if all goes well in the next three weeks. The Braves may also use Kyle Wright or Bryse Wilson in piggyback roles early on.

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