Mr. Washington National, Ryan Zimmerman, has decided against playing during the abbreviated 2020 MLB season.
Zimmerman announced his decision in a statement through his agency CAA Baseball.
— CAA Baseball (@CAA_Baseball) June 29, 2020
“After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances – three young children, including a newborn, and a mother at high risk – I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season,” Zimmerman said.
“Everyone knows how much it means to me to be a part of a team, and I will miss that camaraderie dearly this year. Of course I would love to pursue back-to-back titles. I cannot speak for anyone else, but given the unusual nature of the season, this is the best decision for me and my family, and I truly appreciate the organization’s understanding and support.
“To be clear, I am not retiring at this time. I have not decided on my future in baseball past 2020. But this year, I’ll be staying safe at home and pulling as hard as anyone for these guys to defend our championship.”
Previously, Zimmerman said in an AP Diary that “I have a 3-week-old baby. My mother has multiple sclerosis and is super high-risk; if I end up playing, I can pretty much throw out the idea of seeing her until weeks after the season is over.”
Zimmerman, the team’s first baseman, is coming off his first MLB championship season at age 35. Zimmerman opting out of the season likely means Eric Thames will get more at bats at first. It’ll mark the Nationals’ first season in history without Zimm.
This will be the first season in Washington Nationals history without Ryan Zimmerman. Made debut at age 20 in 2005, the franchise's first season post-Montreal. https://t.co/c08td6GJz5
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) June 29, 2020
Meanwhile, Joe Ross, who was slated to be the Nationals’ fifth starter in their rotation this season, also opted out of playing. It is expected he will be making a statement soon.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 29, 2020
“Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have decided not to participate in the 2020 season for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. We are one hundred percent supportive of their decision to not play this year,” Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ general manager, said in a statement. “We will miss their presence in the clubhouse and their contributions on the field.”
Zimmerman and Ross join Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake as the first three players to not play this season.
Hearing that #Dbacks RHP Mike Leake will opt out of participating during the 2020 MLB season.
— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) June 29, 2020
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