CALIFORNIA— The Dodgers left-handed Pitcher, David Price, announced on Saturday, July 4 he would be opting out of the 2020 MLB season due to COVID-19 precautions.
The pitcher made the announcement via his Instagram stating,
“Dear Dodgers Nation,
After considerable 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. 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!
Price is not the first MLB player to decide to sit out the season due to COVID-19 concerns. He joins others such as Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman.
The Dodgers acquired Price, 34, in a February trade which also included right fielder Mookie Betts, both from the Boston Red Sox. In exchange, the Red Sox received outfielder Alex Verdugo and Dodger prospect Jeter Downs.
Price was set to begin his first year as a Dodger this 2020 season. However, now that he has opted to sit the season out, he forfeits his prorated 2020 salary, which was approximately $11.9MM for a 60-game season. He will remain under contract with the Dodgers for two more years, valued at $64MM total. Also, with Price not playing during the 2020 season, Boston will save nearly $6MM this season, as they had agreed to pay half of his $32MM salary for this year.
With Price out of the picture this year, Dodger fans can expect to see Ross Stripling or Dustin May in the new pitching rotation, as announced via Twitter by Dodgers beat writer, Bill Plunkett. Other pitchers who can expected to be seen are Tony Gonsolin, Starting pitchers remain as Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, with Julio Urias and Alex Wood being considered to replace Price.
The Dodgers supported Price’s decision with the following statement via Twitter:
“The Dodgers fully support David’s decision to sit out the 2020 season. We have been in constant contact with David and we understand how much this deliberation weighed on him and his family. We know he’ll be rooting hard for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021.”
The Dodgers will begin the 2020 season going up against their biggest rival, the San Francisco Giants, on Thursday, July 23, which is expected to be a nationally televised game. Aside from the New York Yankees playing the Washington Nationals the same day, all other MLB teams will open their season the following day, July 24.