Rockies’ Ian Desmond decides to opt out of second consecutive MLB season

For the second consecutive season, outfielder Ian Desmond will not be playing for the Colorado Rockies. 

Desmond announced Sunday on Instagram that "for now," he has 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," Desmond wrote. "I'm going to continue to train and watch how things unfold."

Desmond made a similar decision not to play during last year's 60-game season, citing a desire to stay home with his then-pregnant wife and their four other children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ian Desmond last played for the Colorado Rockies in 2019, his 11th season in the major leagues. (Photo: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports)

He said the Rockies have been "extremely understanding and supportive" of the decision.

A two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger with the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers, Desmond joined the Rockies as a free agent in 2017. In 11 MLB seasons, he has a .255/.310/.479 career slash line with 181 home runs and 181 stolen bases.

By opting out, Desmond, 35, would forfeit the $8 million he was scheduled to be paid in the final year of a five-year, $70 million contract he signed in 2016. (The Rockies have a team option for 2022.)

"At the end of the day," he wrote, "this weighs on me more than anyone but I'm following my heart and I feel good about this decision."

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