Is it Worth the Physical Risks for Indians Starter Carlos Carrasco to Take the Mound in 2020?

Matt Loede

Monday saw a second proposal from Major League Baseball owners when it came to trying to get a 2020 season underway.

While it’s unknown what the players union think thus far about the latest deal, which includes a 76-game season with a 75 percent prorated salary for the players, it’s more in line and closer to the original proposal that the players asked for.

There does have to be a question about this season, if it actually does get underway, and that is – what about the safety of the players – more so those that may have past immune issues?

The Cleveland Indians have one player that might have to think twice about taking the field this season, as it might not be worth putting his career on the line to play a less than half a season.

That player is pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who missed a good portion of the 2019 season after being diagnosed with leukemia.

There are no questions that there will be plenty of safety measures in place for players to not contract the covid-19 virus, but someone in Carrasco’s position may have to weigh the options before taking the risks of playing.

The owners put out a number of safety measures in the first proposal that will include weekly testing of players to make sure they are not carriers of the dangerous virus.

For someone like Carrasco who has overcome leukemia once already, is playing a season of 76 or so games worth it?

He’s 33 years old, and has three more seasons (two years and a team option) under contract with the Tribe, meaning that he will be back in 2021.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweeted Monday that immune compromised players such as Carrasco can get their pay and service time by opting out of playing in any games in 2020.

While it would be a massive blow for the Indians to lose Carrasco, who has worked very hard to get back to health and 100 percent, as someone that has dealt with cancer the last 13 months, the pitcher has to weigh the risks.

Carrasco has a family with children, and staying healthy has to be the priority over going out and trying to get to the Indians a championship.

That might seem harsh, but there is more to life than baseball. For the Indians and Carrasco, that’s the harsh reality of 2020.

For now there’s no season to speak of, but it seems like at some point a decision is going to have to be made.

One that won’t be easy for Carrasco or the Indians.