Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain has opted out of the 2020 season after his club’s weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals was impacted by a series of positive coronavirus tests.
At least six members of the Cardinals traveling party have tested positive over the last two days, forcing the postponement of Friday and Saturday’s games at Miller Park. The teams are still scheduled to play a doubleheader on Sunday in Milwaukee, though those games are now in doubt as well.
Statement from Lorenzo Cain on electing not to play in 2020: pic.twitter.com/eG4quvnOX6
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 1, 2020
Cain, 34, is a two-time All-Star. He becomes the most notable MLB player to opt out following the rash of in-season positive tests around MLB. The Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies have not played since July 26 due to an outbreak that has resulted in 21 Marlins players and staff members testing positive. Two Phillies staff members also tested positive this week.
It is not clear when the Marlins will return to action. When they do, infielder Isan Diaz will not be with them. He opted out on Saturday. The Phillies are scheduled to resume Monday against the New York Yankees.
On Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred warned MLBPA president Tony Clark that the season could be canceled as early as Monday if the outlook does not improve and if players do not start taking the health and safety protocols more seriously. That warning came after an MLB investigation found that Marlins players went out on the town in Atlanta during an exhibition series.
The league had obviously hoped that would be an isolated problem. But the growing numbers of cases in the Cardinals camp is raising new concerns about how plausible it will be to safely complete a 60-game schedule. Keep in mind, the season is only nine days old.
The Brewers have also been directly impacted. Luis Urias and Angel Perdomo both tested positive, but those positives came before summer camp. At the time, Cain expressed hope that the season could be completed.
Asked about COVID during camp, Lorenzo Cain said, "Hopefully, everything will be safe, we’ll be safe and hopefully we can get through this season without having to stop or cancel it or anything. It’s all a work in progress but we’ll see what happens.”
— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 1, 2020
Cain’s decision to opt out means he’ll be walking away from $5.92 million, which is the prorated portion of his $16 million salary for the 2020 season.
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