Isan Díaz will return to the Marlins after electing not to play the rest of the 2020 season at the beginning of August.
Díaz was cleared to return by a joint MLB/MLB Players Association panel, a source told MLB.com on Tuesday. The Marlins haven't confirmed Díaz's return.
"Isan has decided to opt back in. After that Philly series, he chose to opt out for the 2020 season, had a change of heart and petitioned to Major League Baseball to opt back in," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said during FOX Sports Florida's broadcast of Tuesday's 3-2 Marlins win over the Blue Jays. "He has reported back to our player development complex in Jupiter. He's working himself back. He was our Opening Day second baseman, a big part of what we're building here. We're excited to get him back on the field and see if he can help us at some point."
The 24-year-old played two games in the first series, against the Phillies. But while the Marlins were isolating in Philadelphia following multiple positive COVID-19 tests, Díaz informed the team that he was electing not to play due to health concerns and family reasons.
At the time, Díaz posted to Instagram: "This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads. After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season."
With Díaz returning, the Marlins' trade of Jonathan Villar to the Blue Jays before Monday's Trade Deadline makes more sense. Villar had been playing primarily second base since veteran shortstop Miguel Rojas returned to the lineup on Aug. 21. Jon Berti got the starting nod in Tuesday's opener again at the Blue Jays. Miami also called up No. 4 prospect Jazz Chisholm, a shortstop with just one Minor League game at second.
“[Díaz] has only been back in Jupiter for like two or three days, so this has not been a situation where he's been down there playing for three weeks or been down there playing every day,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He was out for a while and he's down there playing and it sounds like he's swinging the bat OK, but Jazz has been there the whole time. He's been working, and we felt like he was the right guy for this time period.”
Díaz went 2-for-9 in his first two games this season and hit .173 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 49 games for the Marlins as a rookie in 2019.