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:
A statement from Mike Leake's agent, Danny Horwits of Beverly Hills Sports Council: pic.twitter.com/bQctIlUTml— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) June 29, 2020
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.