Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond has announced he is opting out of a second consecutive baseball season.
“For now, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2021 season,” Desmond wrote in an Instagram story. “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.”
He has now walked away from a combined $13.56 million over the past two seasons; he was owed $8 million this year and was set to make $5.56 million of his prorated $15 million salary last season. The Rockies have a $15 million option on Desmond for next season with a $2 million buyout.
Desmond, 35, hit .255 with 20 homers in 140 games in 2019.
“I’ve let my teammates know, as well as the coaching staff and the front office, and they have all been extremely understanding and supportive,” Desmond’s post read. “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.”
Desmond said over the last few months he has “had tough conversations. I’ve asked a lot of questions and done a lot of thinking.” That helped him reach his decision to opt out.
He was far more expansive last year when explaining his decision to opt out of the 2020 season. In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Desmond, who is biracial, mentioned myriad issues within baseball, including sexism, homophobia and socioeconomic concerns, as well as the racial reckoning that emerged after George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis sparked protests around the world.