Diamondbacks’ SP Mike Leake becomes first MLB player to opt out of 2020 season

Arizona Diamondbacks SP Mike Leake
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Mike Leake announced on Monday he will sit out the 2020 MLB season, becoming the first known player to voluntarily sit out.

Diamondbacks SP Mike Leake will sit out the 2020 MLB season

As more than 1,000 players prepare to report for MLB’s summer camp to get ready for the 2020 season, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake announced he would be staying home.

Leake, who could become a free agent at the end of the 2020 season, made the personal decision to sit out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because Leake is not considered one of MLB’s high-risk players, he will not receive the fully prorated portion of his $15 million salary for the season. As part of MLB’s plan for return, only players who are medically determined to be “high-risk persons” are eligible to sit out with full pay and service time.

It’s widely expected that more players will sit out MLB’s 60-game season. Although, no other players have publicly said they will sit out.

Leake was expected to compete for a spot in Arizona’s rotation. He recorded a 4.35 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 10 starts with the Diamondbacks last season after being traded by the Seattle Mariners.