Ian Desmond declines to join Rockies this season

Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond announced that he will not participate in MLB's planned 60-game season.

What It Means:

Desmond cited both racial issues inside and outside of baseball and the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for deciding not to play. "With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what's going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now," Desmond said. The veteran's decision figures to create playing time for Raimel Tapia, Ryan McMahon, and Garrett Hampson. There could also be additional at-bats for Sam Hilliard. Desmond has hit at least 20 home runs in six of the last eight seasons. He turns 35 in September. The Rockies signed Matt Kemp to a minor-league contract in a corresponding roster move.

Last season, Desmond hit .255/.310/.479 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI over 482 plate appearances (140 games). Per FanDuel Sportsbook, the Rockies are tied for the seventh-worst odds (+16000) to win the 2020 World Series.