Marlins 2B Isan Diaz Opts out of 2020 MLB Season Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2020

Miami Marlins' Isan Diaz runs to third during a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets on Saturday, Feb 22, 2020, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Marlins won 5-3. (AP Photo/Vera Nieuwenhuis)
Vera Nieuwenhuis/Associated Press

Miami Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz announced Saturday that he is opting out of the remainder of the 2020 MLB season.

Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extrabase tweeted the statement Diaz released on Instagram:

Daniel Álvarez Montes @DanielAlvarezEE

Isan Díaz’s statement on Instagram. https://t.co/knCeskVVDK

As of Friday, 18 of the 30 players on the Marlins' active roster had tested positive for COVID-19. Major League Baseball paused the Marlins' season through at least Sunday, and the team hasn't played since beating the Philadelphia Phillies last Sunday.

The 24-year-old Diaz appeared in two of the Marlins three games this season, hitting .222 with two runs scored. He also appeared in 49 games last season and hit .173 with five home runs, 23 RBI and 17 runs scored.

While Diaz wasn't necessarily expected to be a big-time difference maker for the Marlins this season, losing any player at this juncture is significant for the team since the majority of its roster is currently out because of COVID-19.

It remains unclear when the Marlins will be allowed to return to action, but it seems likely that the pause of their season will last beyond Sunday, as they are scheduled to host the Phillies for a three-game set beginning Tuesday.

The Phillies shut down operations at Citizens Bank Park this week after a coach and a home clubhouse staffer tested positive for COVID-19. Although no Phillies players have tested positive, they haven't played since Sunday and all of their games are postponed through Monday as well.

If and when the Marlins receive clearance, they will likely have to call up several players from their alternate training site and may even have to sign some veteran free agents in order to avoid starting the service time clock for some of their prospects.

Getting all 60 games in will be a challenge for the Marlins even if several doubleheaders are scheduled. Teams were given a limited amount of scheduled days off in order to fit 60 games into a small window.

If the Marlins are not able to complete 60 games, it is possible MLB could look into basing the standings off winning percentage rather than record.

There is no guarantee that the entire MLB season will be played, however, as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that the season could be shut down if the COVID-19 situation isn't handled better.