Young Marlins player opts out of 2020 season after COVID-19 outbreak on team

The COVID-19 outbreak on the Miami Marlins has affected all of baseball, but it has also taken a toll on some of the players on that team. One of them, second baseman Isan Díaz, made a difficult personal decision in light of all the positive tests: he’s opting out of the MLB season.

“This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads,” Díaz wrote on Instagram. “After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season. This has been a decision that I have discussed with my family, and I feel it’s the best one for me and my overall well-being. I will deeply miss my teammates and competing on the field. I wish my brothers the best and look forward to taking the field again with them soon!!”

From his statement, it appears that Díaz was not one of the Marlins players to test positive for COVID-19, but seeing his teammates test positive pushed him toward this decision. Eighteen total Marlins players, or more than half of their entire roster, tested positive over the last week, and Díaz is the first Marlins player to opt out of the 2020 season. Fifteen players have opted out of the MLB season, not counting Nick Markakis, who was the first player to change his mind after opting out.

Díaz, 24, was in his second season as a major leaguer. In his rookie season, Díaz hit .173/.259/.307 in 49 games and 201 plate appearances, but the Marlins have high hopes for him, and look at him as their second baseman of the future. With Díaz’s decision, that future will have to start in at least 2021.

Isan Diaz throws a baseball.
Marlins second baseman Isan Díaz is choosing to opt out of the 2020 MLB season. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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