PHOENIX —Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake is one of the first players to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen announced Leake’s decision Monday, shortly before Washington teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross opted out of the virus-shortened season.
“During this global pandemic, Mike and his family had many discussions about playing this season,” Leake’s agent, Danny Horwits, said in a statement Monday. “They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has chosen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the best of luck and health for his Diamondback teammates this season and he’s looking forward to 2021.”
Hazen also said two players on Arizona’s 60-man roster tested positive for COVID-19, as did another player not in Arizona.
The 32-year-old Leake started 10 games for Arizona after being traded from Seattle for outfielder Jose Caballero and cash in a 2019 deadline deal. Leake went 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA with Arizona and earned his first AL Gold Glove Award for his time with the Mariners.
Leake was included in the Diamondbacks’ 60-player pool released earlier Monday, but will be moved in a later transaction. He was expected to compete for a spot in the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation during the 60-game season.
“It definitely impacts us,” Hazen said. “Certainly, he’s a good major league starting pitcher. To what extent it’s going to impact us, it’s hard to say. I think I would probably have a different answer if it was over 162 (games) as opposed to if it was over 60.”
LUBBOCK, Texas —Texas Tech added another graduate transfer from an SEC power Monday by signing former LSU safety Eric Monroe.
Monroe joined the Red Raiders about a week after running back Chadarius Townsend came over from Alabama.
Monroe played in LSU’s 42-25 victory over Clemson for the national championship last season and recorded a tackle in the 63-28 win over Oklahoma in the semifinals.
A highly rated high school recruit out of the Houston area, Monroe had 21 tackles over three seasons for the Tigers, most of them as a redshirt freshman in 2017. His sophomore season was derailed by injuries.