The Colorado Rockies have declined the $15 million option on Ian Desmond's contract and instead will pay him a $2 million buyout, according to a report from MLB Network. 

Desmond, 36, signed a five-year deal with the Rockies in 2016 but has opted out of the past two seasons, in order to spend more time with his five children and to give back to his community.

He started Newton Connection, a nonprofit that helps diverse and at-risk youth in Desmond's hometown of Sarasota County, Florida. He was the Rockies' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award last season. 

"There's no better representative than Desi for this award," manager Bud Black said in September, when the news was announced. "What he's doing down there in his hometown is pretty special stuff ... it's awesome, I love it. I think Desi is having a blast with this. I think it's something he's passionate about."

Desmond stayed in contact with the team even after he opted out, texting with Black often early last season and keeping in touch with players such as Trevor Story and some in the front office. It's unknown if he wants to return to baseball, but Black said at the time that he knew it was on Desmond's mind. 

Desmond will now become a free agent if he would like to continue playing. He averaged .251 in three seasons with the Rockies and is a two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger winner.

Desmond joins Jon Gray, Trevor Story, Jhoulys Chacín and Chris Owings as free agents. 

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