St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks opts out of 2020 season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17: Jordan Hicks #49 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 17, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17: Jordan Hicks #49 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 17, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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After much consideration, Jordan Hicks of the St. Louis Cardinals has decided to opt-out of the 2020 season.

Today, less than 2-weeks away from Opening Day, St. Louis Cardinals flame thrower Jordan Hicks released a brief statement concerning his status for 2020. “After much thought and consideration,” Hicks’ statement read, “I have decided to opt-out of the 2020 season.”

In doing so, Hicks becomes the 13th MLB player to opt-out of the season amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. So far, he is the only member of the Cardinals to do so.

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The 23-year-old righty was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes back in high school. According to the CDC’s website, having type-1 diabetes “may increase your risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” so one can certainly understand why Hicks wouldn’t want to risk his long-term health for a 60-game season.

Last season, Hicks’ season was cut short after suffering a torn UCL in his right elbow in late June. He underwent Tommy John surgery and was still in the process of recovering. By opting out, Hicks will slow down the recovery process and should be 100% ready come 2021.

Mostly known for his extraordinarily fast sinker, Jordan Hicks has lead all of MLB with the fastest pitches for two consecutive seasons. In 2018, he tossed two sinkers to Odubel Herrera that went 105 and 105.1 MPH respectively. In 2019, his name is all over the Statcast leaderboard, including a 104.3 MPH sinker.

Even though he won’t toss a pitch during the 2020 MLB season, Hicks will continue to get paid, will receive credit towards service time, and will still be arbitration-eligible this winter for 2021. The earliest he’ll be eligible for free agency remains 2024.

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St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak stated today, “we respect and understand Jordan’s decision to opt-out of this season. We look forward to seeing Jordan back on the mound for the 2021 season.”

Kudos to that!