Astros reliever Joe Smith opts out of 2020 season

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Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports that Astros reliever Joe Smith has opted out of 2020 season. Previously, Smith had cited “concerns about the health and safety of his family” as his reasoning for not reporting to Astros summer camp, and those concerns no doubt are the reason for his decision to forego the 2020 campaign.

Smith has been a key part of the Astros bullpen over the past couple of seasons, posting a 3.06 ERA in 84 appearances in 2018 and 2019. He was particularly important last season, as he posted a 1.80 ERA in 28 appearances after returning from a torn achilles tendon, after which he appeared in 10 of Houston’s 18 postseason games. His absence will be especially felt given that Houston is already dealing with the absence of Jose Urquidy who has yet to make it to Astros Summer Camp.

Smith is the 14th player to opt out so far this year.