Pirates’ outfielder opts out of season after brother passes away of COVID-19

Pirates outfielder Socrates Brito opted out of the 2020 season after his brother passed away from COVID-19.

Socrates Brito, an outfielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, is set to opt-out of the remainder of the 2020 MLB season.

The 27-year-old lost his brother to COVID-19 last week, prompting him to make the difficult decision to opt-out, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Brito himself had tested positive for the coronavirus in July. The death of his brother is a stark reminder of the worst outcome of COVID-19.

The Pirates released a statement confirming the possibility of Brito opting out in light of his brother’s death, even if it is not yet official.

“After the sad news of his brother’s passing, we have worked with Socrates to help him return home to be with his family. We are supporting him in anyway we can, including working through the possibility of him opting out for the remainder of the season to give him tome to be able to grieve with his family. Nothing has been finalized officially, but we will be sure to announce once it is. Our thoughts remain with Socrates and his family during this difficult time,” the Pirates said per Jason Mackey.

The Pirates organization will have to cope without Socrates Brito.

Brito, who is from the Dominican Republic, had hopes of playing for the Pirates this season, but he had remained relegated to Pittsburgh’s alternate training site since returning from a COVID-19 positive in July.

The Pirates signed Brito as a free agent last December. He had played for the Diamondbacks in 2015, 2016 and 2018. He spent some time with the Blue Jays in 2019 before becoming a free agent.

Pittsburgh entered Tuesday’s game against the Cubs sitting last in the NL Central with a record of 10-22.

Considering their place in the MLB standings, the loss of Brito shouldn’t have much real effect. Their hopes of making it into the playoffs have already been thoroughly dashed.

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