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Isan Díaz placed on restricted list, opting out of 2020 MLB season

The young second baseman says he will “deeply miss” his Marlins teammates and the competition, but needed to make best decision for himself following COVID-19 outbreak.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins are going to be without second baseman Isan Díaz for the remainder of their 2020 season. The club placed him on the restricted list late Friday night, according to the official MLB transactions page. Opting out of the season was first mentioned as a possibility for him earlier on Friday by Jon Heyman, who confirms Saturday morning that Díaz is indeed leaving.

Here is Díaz’s full statement about the decision, posted to his Instagram Story:

“This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads. After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season. This has been a decision that I have discussed with my family, and I feel it’s the best one for me and my overall well-being. I will deeply miss my teammates and competing on the field. I wish my brothers the best and look forward to taking the field again with them soon!”

Per league rules, the window has closed for players on the restricted list for COVID-19 related issues to appeal for reinstatement. That is the case for Díaz, who has seen 18 of his teammates test positive for the virus during the last week. He will not account against Miami’s 60-man player pool moving forward.

Díaz is the only Marlin thus far to opt out. However, 15 total MLB players—ranging from rookies to accomplished veterans—have done so.

During the season-opening series against the Phillies, Díaz was among a small number of Marlins players to cover his face in the batter’s box—players are unable to keep sufficient social distance from the catcher and home plate umpire in that situation. Heyman reports that he was not infected with COVID as of Friday morning.

So far in his brief major league career, the 24-year-old has a .176/.257/.303 slash line, 52 wRC+ and 5 HR in 210 PA. Though underwhelming in that sample, Díaz thrived for Triple-A New Orleans in 2019 en route to Marlins’ Organizational Player of the Year honors. Had he not opted out, he was projected to start for the Fish on a near-daily basis moving forward.

With Díaz’s departure and Miguel Rojas included among the Marlins players who reportedly have COVID, Jonathan Villar will return to being a middle infielder. Craig Mish confirms that Villar, thankfully, is in the minority of active Marlins who have tested negative. Eddy Álvarez and newly signed Logan Forsythe could help fill the Díaz void as well.

Fish Stripes supports Isan’s decision and looks forward to having him contribute for the Marlins in 2021 and beyond.