Colorado’s Ian Desmond will opt out of the season for the second straight year. Matt York/Associated Press

DENVER — Colorado Rockies veteran outfielder Ian Desmond is opting out for a second straight season.

Desmond announced Sunday on his Instagram account that his “desire to be with my family is greater than my desire to go back and play baseball under these circumstances. I’m going to train and watch how things unfold.” He added “for now” in his statement to opt out, leaving the door open for a possible return.

The 35-year-old Desmond is in the final year of a five-year, $70 million deal he signed in December 2016. He is scheduled to make $8 million this season. Colorado has a $15 million option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout.

In opting out last season during the coronavirus-shortened season, Desmond cited a desire to spend more time with his family and to help grow youth baseball in his Florida hometown. He also added the COVID-19 pandemic made the baseball season one that “is a risk I am not comfortable taking.”

On Sunday, Desmond wrote of his decision: “This impacts a lot of people, some positively and some negatively, and I own that. At the end of the day, this weighs on me more than anyone but I’m following my heart and I feel good about my decision.”

Desmond added that he’s informed teammates, the coaching staff and front office and they’ve all been “extremely understanding and supportive.”

“I wish nothing but the best for the entire Rockies organization and have let them know I am willing to do whatever I can to help them from afar,” Desmond wrote. “Thank you.”

Full-squad workouts are scheduled to begin Tuesday in Arizona. The Rockies already are without one big bat in the lineup after trading eight-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this month.

Desmond is a career .263 hitter with 181 homers and 711 RBIs over an 11-year career with Washington, Texas and Colorado. He batted .255 with 20 homers in 140 games with Colorado in 2019.

Mostly a shortstop to start his career, he’s become a versatile player who can patrol the outfield or play first base.

NATIONALS:  The nerve issue in Stephen Strasburg’s wrist that ended his 2020 season after five innings would get aggravated every time he threw a baseball, he said Sunday, and “basically would go from numbness in my thumb to numbness in my whole hand.”

Speaking to reporters for the first time since before he was shut down in August, the Washington Nationals ace said the problem went away immediately after the 15-minute carpal tunnel surgery.

The 2019 World Series MVP began preparing for this season much earlier than usual, doing a light catch on Nov. 1 instead of mid-December, and throwing bullpens early in January instead of late in the month.

“Endurance-wise, stamina-wise, I feel like I’m a lot further along than I have (been) in years past,” the right-handed starter explained. “I wanted to give myself some extra time to work through some mechanical things and be ready to go on Day One.”

That he was: The 32-year-old was throwing off a mound alongside teammates during Friday’s workout.

“He’s one of our workhorses. And not to see him out there was tough. But for me, if he was ever going to get hurt and ever fix an issue, last year would’ve been the time,” Manager Dave Martinez said. “I’m glad he got it fixed, and I’m glad he feels great.”

YANKEES: Pitcher Domingo Germán has started the process of talking to teammates about his domestic violence suspension that’s kept him off the mound since September 2019.

Germán was 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 2019 when he was put on administrative leave while Major League Baseball investigated an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child.

“It is important to me that I have the opportunity to speak directly with my teammates, both individually and collectively and address them face to face before I speak to the media and our fans,” Germán said in a statemen released by the Yankees on Sunday.

“This process has begun but more time is needed, especially since half our team has yet to report to spring training. I recognize that speaking publicly will be an important step for me and I will do so in the upcoming days,” he said.

The Yankees’ first full-squad workout is Tuesday.

“It’s a very serious issue,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said. “It’s a very serious thing that went on and certainly an unacceptable thing that went on.”

GIANTS: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez finalized a $4 million, one-year contract with San Francisco, giving the club another experienced starter to join Johnny Cueto in the rotation.

The Giants said Sanchez could earn up to $2.5 million more in performance bonuses based on starts: $250,000 each for 16 and 18 starts and $500,000 each for 20, 22, 24 and 26 games started. He has been plagued by injuries in recent years.

 


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