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Major League Baseball began its 2020 season in July, and the league is trying to navigate its way through a 60-game schedule amid a global pandemic. How MLB handles the coronavirus will be a storyline all season long, and the league has already seen two teams have outbreaks. The Marlins were sidelined for more than a week as 18 players tested positive, and the St. Louis Cardinals have not played since July 29 and have more than a dozen positive cases among their player and staff.

Multiple players have decided to sit out the 2020 season due to health concerns, including a lot of big names. Mets’ righty Marcus Stroman and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes have both opted out this month, as has Brewers star Lorenzo Cain.

Below we have a full list of those players who have decided to opt out of the season. The list currently stands at 21 players.

Opt-out list

Here is an up-to-date list of MLB players who have made the decision not to participate in the 2020 season:

  • Mike Leake, Diamondbacks
  • Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
  • Joe Ross, Nationals
  • Ian Desmond, Rockies
  • Tyson Ross, free agent
  • Welington Castillo, Nationals
  • David Price, Dodgers
  • Felix Hernandez, Braves
  • Nick Markakis, Braves — has since opted back in
  • Hector Noesi, Pirates
  • Buster Posey, Giants
  • Michael Kopech, White Sox
  • Jordan Hicks, Cardinals
  • Collin McHugh, Red Sox
  • Tim Collins, Rockies
  • Kohl Stewart, Orioles
  • Isan Diaz, Marlins
  • Lorenzo Cain, Brewers
  • Francisco Liriano, free agent
  • Yoenis Cespedes, Mets
  • Shelby Miller, Brewers
  • Marcus Stroman, Mets

There are undoubtedly several, potential short- and long-term health and safety risks being taken by those involved in a 2020 season. Given that, MLB and the MLBPA have agreed on COVID-19 guidelines which include the allowance of high-risk players or players with high-risk families to opt-out on the 2020 season.

In MLB’s plan, high-risk players who decide to opt-out would receive both their full salary and service time for the season. Players who have high-risk family members may also decide to opt-out, but MLB would leave it up to teams to make the decision of whether or not they would receive salary or service time. High-risk would include people who have heart disease, lung disease, cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Coronavirus is commonly considered a respiratory illness, but many of those who have tested positive can experience a wide range of different symptoms, including possible effects on the heart.

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