Dodgers' Price opts out of 2020 season delayed by COVID-19

(Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price said on Saturday he has decided not to play in Major League Baseball’s coronavirus-delayed 2020 season to protect his and his family’s health.

Price, a five-times All-Star and former Cy Young Award winner who won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, took part in spring training with the Dodgers before action was suspended in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“After considerable thought and discussion with my family and the Dodgers, I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my family’s health for me not to play this season,” Price said on Twitter.

“I will miss my teammates and will be cheering for them throughout the season and on to a World Series victory.

“I’m sorry I won’t be playing for you this year, but look forward to representing you next year.”

The Red Sox traded Price to the Dodgers in February and the left-hander was expected to join the starting rotation as a replacement for Ryu Hyun-jin, who left as a free agent.

Price, who was limited to 22 starts last season because of a cyst on his left wrist that required surgery, went 7-5 in 2019 with a 4.28 earned run average.

The Dodgers said they fully support Price’s decision.

“We have been in constant contact with David and we understand how much this deliberation weighed on him and his family,” the Dodgers said in a statement.

“We know he’ll be rooting hard for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021.”

MLB and its players’ association last week agreed to a shortened, 60-game 2020 campaign that would begin on either July 23 or 24 with no fans in attendance.

MLB was scheduled to open its 162-game regular season in late March but delayed the campaign due to the pandemic.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Daniel Wallis