McHugh, 33, dealt with elbow problems through most of last year, ultimately ending his season at the end of August. Those elbow issues have persisted well into 2020, even after going a non-surgical procedure over the winter. McHugh was looking at an extended stay on the injured list, so his decision to opt out has a lot to do with his elbow as well as the pandemic. It makes sense to simply opt out so as to not unnecessarily be around other people. McHugh can spend the rest of the year rehabbing his elbow, aiming to bounce back for what will hopefully be a 162-game season in 2021.
The Red Sox inked McHugh to a one-year, $600,000 contract in March. The contract contained a lot of incentives for innings pitched, offering him $250,000 for intervals of five innings pitched from a total of 30 through 55, and an additional $250,000 for reaching 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, and 115 innings. MLB and the MLBPA recently came to an agreement on handling performance bonuses in the 60-game season, but McHugh was a notable exemption.