In a shocking move, David Price announced today that he will be sitting out the 2020 season.
Price said that it is in the best interest of his health and his family’s health to not play in 2020, due to the Coronavirus. He said he intends to suit up for the Dodgers in 2021, of course, assuming everything is better by then.
Price was acquired from the Red Sox earlier in the offseason, and was penciled in as the third starter the Dodgers’ rotation. After this season, he’ll have two years remaining on his contract.
“The Dodgers fully support David’s decision to sit out the 2020 season,” the team said in a statement. “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 hard for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021.”
Dave Roberts earlier Saturday morning said up to that point, nobody on the team had yet opted out, but that discussions were ongoing.
“Every player has the right to look at the situation individually and with regards to their families. We’ve had conversations with all the players and listening to their thoughts, concerns. Some are more concerned than others,” Roberts said Friday. “If anyone chooses to go that route, I know that myself and the organization, their teammates will support them.”
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters that Price reported to camp on Wednesday after expressing concerns for the last few months, but by Saturday decided not to play. From Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
“My role in this has been to support him through it, not having any rooting interest in what is a very personal decision,” Friedman said. “Everyone is internalizing everything going on differently. I don’t know if there are any right or wrong answers at this point. It’s been on his mind for a while now. The allure of playing with his teammates that he bonded with was pushing him, but ultimately he got to the point where he wasn’t comfortable doing it.”
Price is at least the sixth major league player to opt out of the 2020 season, along with Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross, and Welington Castillo of the Nationals, Ian Desmond of the Rockies, and Mike Leake of the Diamondbacks.