news 4 days ago

Lorenzo Cain's opt-out sends message to fellow stars: Don't go down with MLB ship

Sporting News — (Dan Bernstein)

Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain is done with MLB in 2020 after news broke Saturday morning of further positive COVID-19 test results among the Cardinals organization hours before his team had been scheduled to face St. Louis.

Cain announced he would opt-out of the season, becoming the best player to date to make that decision. His health, he reasonably decided, was of greater importance than a circus campaign that could be canceled entirely in the coming week.

He's far from the first player to walk away from baseball this year — Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz did the same Saturday — but his stature as a two-time All-Star, Gold Glove winner and key piece of a playoff contender makes his midseason choice another possible turning point in the season's downward spiral.

MORE: Marlins under fire for not following COVID-19 protocols

Perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout, of course, nearly decided not to play this season ahead of the birth of his child. By suiting up for the Angels on Opening Day, he helped legitimize MLB's 60-game plan. As other trendsetters such as Cain go the other direction, though, stars could join the evacuation of the campaign.

A Friday report from MLB stated there had been 29 positive COVID-19 tests from the previous week, with the majority of those coming within Marlins ranks.

Commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly told the MLB Players Association he's considering canceling the season if case counts keep trending in the wrong direction. The league's top players could help make that choice for him.