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Former Mariner Felix Hernandez opts out of season due to pandemic

Former Cy Young winner Félix Hernández has opted out of the 2020 season, at least temporarily ending his bid to revive his career with the Atlanta Braves.
Credit: AP
With the "King's Court" cheering section behind him, Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez tips his cap as he takes the mound for the team's baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in Seattle. The game is Hernandez's final start of the 2019 season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

ATLANTA (AP) — Former Cy Young winner Félix Hernández has opted out of the 2020 season, at least temporarily ending his bid to revive his career with the Atlanta Braves.

Braves manager Brian Snitker says the 34-year-old Hernández chose to skip the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

A six-time All-Star in 15 seasons with Seattle, the player known as King Felix needed a fresh start following 2019, his worst season. 

He looked good this spring.  In four games, King Felix had a 1.98 ERA over 13.2 innings. 

Just days ago, he tweeted out a message of keeping safe so they can play games and keep their family safe.

Hernández made his decision after participating in workouts Friday and Saturday at Truist Park. 

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The Braves announced Saturday that four-time All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, reliever Will Smith and two more Atlanta players tested positive for COVID-19.