Veteran Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain informed the team on Saturday that he is opting out of the rest of the 2020 season, the club announced. Cain, 34, had appeared in five games for the Brewers, hitting .333/.429/.389 this season.
For his career, he’s hit .288/.348/.413 while providing high-quality defense in center field. That combination has allowed him to accumulate 36.4 Wins Above Replacement and earned him two trips to the All-Star game.
Cain is the latest high-profile player to opt out of the season, joining, among others, Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander David Price; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey; and Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
Unless Cain is deemed to be a high-risk individual, he will not receive pay or service-time credit for the remainder of the season. A prorated amount of his full-season salary ($16 million) would have been just shy of $6 million. It’s worth noting that Cain has earned more than $66 million to date, and is under contract for an additional two seasons at $35 million total.
Cain’s decision comes after Milwaukee’s games against the Cardinals on Friday and Saturday were postponed due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests among St. Louis players and staff members. It’s unclear if the Brewers and Cardinals will be able to play a doubleheader on Sunday as originally expected.
Should Major League Baseball’s season continue beyond this weekend, the Brewers would likely turn Ben Gamel as their most-days center fielder. Gamel, who altered his swing during the offseason to mimic teammate Christian Yelich’s, is a career .263/.333/.390 hitter. The Brewers also have a few other notable outfielders available to promote their alternate-site roster, including prospects Corey Ray and Tyrone Taylor, and journeyman Keon Broxton.
The Brewers entered Saturday with a 3-3 record, good for second place in the National League Central.