Mike Trout was the biggest name in Major League Baseball who was still considering sitting out the 2020 season, but on the eve of opening day, the Los Angeles Angels star said he will indeed play. Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times posted the player’s announcement on Twitter.
“I’m playing,” Trout said.
The outfielder mentioned earlier this summer that he was concerned about the coronavirus pandemic. His wife is pregnant and is due to give birth in August. The impending arrival had him considering skipping out on risking getting infected and passing that on to his family.
According to The Athletic‘s Fabian Ardaya, Trout was concerned about how MLB was going to deal with the outbreak. The reporter tweeted that the player saw what the league did as summer camps opened and felt it was taking safety seriously.
There were some issues when teams around the majors first reported, including delayed test results. While those around MLB have noted not everything is ironed out, testing, results, and other safety measures have gotten better and more effective in the last few weeks. Those measures convinced Trout that he could play for the Angels in 2020 and be relatively safe.
Earlier this month, Trout was forthcoming about his concerns about playing baseball with everything that’s going on around the country. Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report said that the outfielder was worried about bringing it home from the ballpark. He added he just didn’t feel comfortable at the time, that was why he was having a hard time making the call as to whether or not he would ultimately suit up for the Angels.
When players like the Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman and the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey decided to sit out, some analysts around Los Angeles thought Trout would follow suit.
As Goldberg pointed out, his decision to play after all is huge, not just for his team, but for Major League Baseball in general. He’s one of the sport’s biggest stars and arguably its best all-around player.
With the schedules being adapted for the pandemic meaning more interleague games against the NL West franchises, more fans who wouldn’t have been able to see him much in 2020 will get a few more chances. Without attendance numbers to count on, television viewership is going to be key for advertising on broadcasts and in the parks.
The analyst believes Trout’s decision to be “full go” in 2020 will have a positive effect on several different financial bottom lines.