Dodgers pitcher David Price will not play this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, delaying his Los Angeles debut until next year.
The five-time All-Star became the latest player to opt out, posting Saturday on Twitter that he wouldnâ€™t participate in the 60-game season thatâ€™s scheduled to begin July 23.
â€œAfter considerable thought and discussion with my family and the Dodgers, I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my familyâ€™s health for me to not play this season,â€ he said.
Priceâ€™s announcement came a day after Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout said he wasnâ€™t â€œcomfortableâ€ with the current climate and might not play. On Saturday, San Francisco catcher Buster Posey said â€œthereâ€™s still some reservation on my endâ€ about playing.
First baseman Ryan Zimmerman of the World Series champion Washington Nationals, Colorado outfielder Ian Desmond and Arizona pitcher Mike Leake are among those who have already said theyâ€™re out this year.
The Dodgers got Price and former AL MVP Mookie Betts from Boston in a February trade for outfielder Alex Verdugo and prospects.
The 34-year-old Price made two starts in spring training for the Dodgers, striking out 10 in 4 1/3 innings before all camps were closed March 12 because of the virus outbreak.
â€œThe Dodgers fully support Davidâ€™s decision to sit out the 2020 season,â€ the team said in a statement. â€œWe have been in constant contact with David and we understand how much this deliberation weighed on him and his family.â€
â€œWe know heâ€™ll be rooting hard for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021,â€ it said.
Price has a $217 million, seven-year contract that runs through 2021. He was going to make $32 million this season, with the Red Sox paying $16 million of that, before the virus shut down the sport.
Price had already made his own contribution to the Dodgers organization.
In late May, Price said he would give $1,000 each to 220 minor leaguers to help their offset costs. There will be no minor league baseball this year because of the pandemic.
Price was 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA for Boston last year and helped the Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series.
The well-traveled Price won the 2012 AL Cy Young Award with Tampa Bay. Heâ€™s also pitched for Toronto and Detroit and is 150-80 with a 3.31 ERA in 12 seasons.
In his Twitter note addressed to Dodgers Nation, Price said, â€œIâ€™m sorry I wonâ€™t be playing for you this year, but look forward to representing you next year.â€
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