Dodgers pitcher David Price says he won't play in 2020 due to pandemic

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: David Price #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers answers questions from the media during a news conference at Dodger Stadium on February 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

 Dodgers pitcher David Price said on Saturday that he would opt out of playing this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

"Dear Dodgers Nation," Price posted on Twitter.

"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 to not play this season. 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. "Stay safe, be well and be kind. And Go Dodgers!"  

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The 34-year-old Price was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in a February trade. He would forfeit his salary by refusing to play this season.  

Price -- who has won 150 games in his Major League career -- is the first Dodgers player to opt-out of playing this season.  

The team issued the following statement:

"The Dodgers fully support David's decision to sit out the 2020 season. We have been in constant contact with David and we understand how much this deliberation weighed on him and his family. We know he'll be rooting hard for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021."  

The 2020 Major League Baseball season -- shortened to 60 games instead of the usual 162 -- is scheduled to begin on July 23 and end on September 27.

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The postseason is scheduled to begin on September 29.   Meanwhile, the Dodgers conducted their second "Summer Camp" workout Saturday at Dodger Stadium to prepare for the coronavirus-delayed start of the season.  

"I missed this place," three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time all-star Clayton Kershaw said Friday at the team's first workout.

"I love being here. Dodger Stadium is very special to me.   "If these three months taught me anything, it's that I really miss the game. I love baseball. I miss playing. I miss pitching. I miss the guys. So yeah, it's a great feeling to come back today."  

Like the other 29 Major League Baseball teams, the Dodgers opted to conduct their Summer Camp workouts at their home stadium instead of their spring training facility.  

Players, other on-field personnel, medical personnel and other essential employees, including front-office officials, were required to complete the intake screening procedures, which included a temperature check with contactless thermometer administered by a representative of the clubs medical staff; a body fluid sample (saliva or oral/nasal swab) for diagnostic/PCR testing and a venous blood collection or dried blood spot sample for serology/antibody testing.  

Both the body fluid sample and venous blood collection or dried bloodspot sample for serology/antibody testing were collected by a representative of Irvine-based Comprehensive Drug Testing, which conducts collections for MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and other MLB drug programs.  

Players and other staff who are in Tiers 1 or 2 will be tested for the coronavirus every other day. Players will receive temperature and symptom checks twice per day.

Antibody testing will be conducted once per month.  

A covered individual who tests positive for the coronavirus will not be allowed to travel (except as authorized by club medical staff and the Joint Committee), access any team facility or have direct contact with any other covered individual or other club staff (other than medical staff) unless until each of the following occurs:

-- the individual tests negative on two separate confirmatory test performed by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory taken at least 24 hours apart;  
-- the individual has been not feverish for at least 72 hours without the use of any fever suppressant, and any respiratory symptoms have improved, as confirmed and documented by his or her treating physician or club medical staff;  
-- the individual completes at least one antibody test following the positive diagnosis;  
-- at the discretion of the team physician, a cardiac evaluation is conducted in accordance with published standards;  
-- the individual's team physician, any treating physician caring for the covered individual, and the Joint Committee all conclude that the individual no longer presents a risk of infection to others and is healthy enough to return to his or her usual professional responsibilities, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and -- any local regulations or requirements are satisfied.  

Modifications for the 2020 season intended to reduce the spread of the coronavirus include prohibiting spitting at all times in team facilities.