Leake's agent, Danny Horwits, shared the following statement regarding the decision with ESPN's Jeff Passan:
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's possible other players could follow suit. In the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers starting guard Avery Bradley has chosen to sit out the league's restart starting in late July, citing health concerns for his family.
Leake, 32, went 3-3 in 10 starts for the Diamondbacks last season with a 4.35 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 60 innings.
The MLB, scheduled to return on July 23-24, has instituted a number of precautions for a return to play, including no fans in attendance (at least initially). Others include, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
- Lockers must be six feet apart.
- Players can't enter the stadium with a temperature above 100.4.
- Temperature and symptoms checked twice a day.
- Saliva tests every other day.
- Antibody tests once a month.
- Players cannot show up more than five hours before a game and are required to leave within 90 minutes after.
- Only pre-packaged food will be served.
- No showering in stadium locker rooms.
- To maintain social distancing, not all players will be permitted to sit in the dugout, with some placed in the stands.
- No spitting, tobacco, licking of fingers, or batboys and batgirls.
- No group celebrations after home runs.
As for the Diamondbacks, Merrill Kelly and Alex Young will now be expected to battle for the fifth spot in the team's rotation.