Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
When Major League Baseball cancelled the remainder of Spring Training and delayed the start of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a popular talking point was the possibility of Mookie Betts never playing a game for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 2018 American League MVP is due to become a free agent this winter, and the March 26 agreement that guaranteed players service time from last year even if the entire season was lost, cemented Betts’ outlook.
While he is on track to play with the Dodgers, David Price opted out of the 2020 season. He made the announcement Saturday on social media.
“After consierable thought and discussion with my family and the Dodgers, I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my family’s health for me to not play this season,” Price wrote in his message.
“I will miss my teammates and will be cheering for them throughout the season and on to a World Series victory. I’m sorry I won’t be playing for you this year, but look forward to representing you next year. Stay safe, be well, and be kind. And Go Dodgers!”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Saturday morning that he was not anticipating any players opting out at this time, but that daily conversations were ongoing. Roberts reiterated the organization would support any player who didn’t feel comfortable playing this year.
It’s a sentiment Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman previously shared as well.
By sitting the season out, Price will forfeit just shy of $12 million in a prorated salary for 60 games. He will have two years and $64 million remaining on his contract moving forward.
His absence is a significant loss for the Dodgers, even when taking into account pitching depth in the form of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Ross Stripling, among others.
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