- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ian Desmond has opted out of the 2021 season “for now,” the Colorado Rockies outfielder announced Sunday on Instagram.

The former Washington Nationals infielder also opted out of the 2020 campaign. Last season, he cited concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as other issues in baseball and the world, such as racial tensions.

Desmond was less open about why he’s opting out of the 2021 season, though.

“Over the last few months, I’ve had tough conversations,” Desmond wrote on Instagram. “I’ve asked a lot of questions and done a lot of thinking. For now, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2021 season. My desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances. I’m going to continue to train and watch how things unfold.”



The 35-year-old hit .255 and clubbed 20 homers in 2019, when he played 140 games. Desmond is walking away from the final year of his contract with the Rockies. He was due to make $8 million this season. There is a $15 million team option for Desmond next year, although Colorado could buy him out of the contract for $2 million.

“This impacts a lot of people, some positively and some negatively, and I own that,” Desmond’s post continued. “At the end of the day, this weighs on me more than anyone but I’m following my heart and I feel good about my decision.

“I’ve let my teammates know, as well as the coaching staff and front office, and they have all been extremely understanding and supportive. I wish nothing but the best for the entire Rockies organization and have let them know I am willing to do whatever I can to help them from afar.”

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