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Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond opts out of 2021 MLB season

Ian Desmond: Colorado Rockies
Sep 24, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Ian Desmond (20) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmons is opting out of the 2021 MLB season, marking the second consecutive year that the the former MLB star will voluntarily sit out of baseball.

Desmond surprised many in June 2020 when he announced that he would forego playing MLB that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial issues going on in the United States. With spring training underway and Opening Day for the 2021 season closing in, Desmond is once again announcing that he won’t be on the diamond.

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Ian Desmond won’t play for Colorado Rockies in 2021

The Colorado Rockies reinstated Desmond to their active roster in November, hoping the 35-year-old outfielder would return to action in 2021. Before Sunday’s announcement, Desmond was expected to serve as a fourth outfielder for the team in the upcoming season.

Related: Colorado Rockies star backs Ian Desmond’s decision to opt-out

As his teammates arrive for spring training, with games soon to be underway, Desmond will remain away from baseball. In a statement on Instagram, he announced that he will continue to train and monitor how the MLB season unfolds and how the league handles the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Desmond, a two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award recipient, signed with the Rockies in 2016. He is entering the final guaranteed year of his original $70 million contract and was set to be paid $8 million this season. Colorado does hold a $15 million club option in 2022 and will likely pay the $2 million buyout to get out of the deal.

If he doesn’t play the entire season, Desmond will have gone two years without playing in MLB. He last took the field in 2019, posting a .788 OPS and hitting 20 home runs across 140 games. Given he’ll be 36 years old in 2022, this might be the end of his professional career.