By Brian Madden
DENVER (CBS4) – For the second time in as many years, Colorado Rockies’ Ian Desmond opted-out of his Major League Baseball contract. Desmond expressed his decision on an Instagram post earlier Sunday.
“Over the last few months, I’ve had tough conversations. I’ve asked a lot of questions and done a lot of thinking. For now, I’ve decided to opt out of the 2021 season. My desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances,” he wrote.
Desmond is a 10-plus year veteran of baseball. He signed with the Rockies in 2017 as a free agent to a 5-year deal worth $70 million. By opting out this season, the 35 year old is giving up $8 million in salary.
Rockies manager Bud Black, who has been in contact with Desmond, said this choice was not easy for the player.
“I wanted him back, but this was a hard decision for him. This was probably harder for him to come to this decision now then it was probably a year ago. This was a decision not about money. This was from the heart, from the stomach, this was hard. This was agonizing for him.”
There is a cause and effect to every decision. Desmond considered all sides to this equation.
“This impacts a lot of people, some positively and some negatively, and I own that… I’m following my heart and I feel good about my decision,” he wrote.
Now, the Colorado Rockies will look to fill the void left by Desmond. There are at least six in-house candidates to compete for the vacant roster spot, but his leadership will be missed in the clubhouse.
Black said, “Someone’s got to fill it. There’s always a transition to fill voids. You hope that guys take those opportunities to make an impact in other places besides their play on the field.”
Desmond can return to the Rockies this season. That is an option that will remain to be seen.