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Mike Leake opts out of 2020 MLB season

The MLB season is less than a month away, and the first notable name has opted out.

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Mike Leake delivers a pitch in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Chase Field. Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Mike Leake is the first Major League Baseball player that has chosen to opt out of the upcoming season. Shortly after rumors started circulating, his agent released a statement confirming the news.

This marks the final season of Leake’s five-year contract. He signed it with the St. Louis Cardinals in December 2015, and he was due to earn $16 million this season prior to the pandemic. His contract was going to pro-rate to approximately $5.6 million for the 60-game season. Leake’s deal includes an $18 million mutual option for 2021 with a $5 million buyout, per reporter Joel Sherman.

Last season, the Mariners traded Leake to the Diamondbacks midway through the season. He started ten games in Arizona, finishing 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. In 22 games for Seattle, he was 9-8 with a 4.27 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He ranked 40th in traditional fantasy baseball scoring and 69th in DraftKings DFS scoring.