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Diamondbacks’ Mike Leake opts out of 2020 season

Leake becomes the first player to announce his decision to not play in 2020.

MLB: Spring Training-Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake has opted out of participating in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 MLB season. His agent, Danny Horwits, released a statement addressing the 32-year-old’s decision not to play this year:

Leake is the first player to announce that he won’t be participating in 2020. Based on his agent’s statement, it doesn’t appear that he’s sitting out due to a pre-existing condition, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that he won’t receive the balance of his salary for this year.

Though it’s unlikely to be picked up — especially with the way teams figure to tighten their payrolls this offseason due to the pandemic — Leake does have an $18 million mutual option for 2020 with a $5 million buyout. While it doesn’t necessarily bode well for Leake that he’ll be trying to find a job in 2021 coming off a year where he didn’t throw a pitch, he did have a fair amount of success between the Mariners and D-Backs in 2019, posting a 4.29 ERA (good for an above-average 102 ERA+) with a 1.29 WHIP, 127 strikeouts, and just 27 walks over 32 starts (197 innings). He threw two complete games, including one shutout.