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NATIONALS' RYAN ZIMMERMAN AND JOE ROSS OPT OUT OF 2020 SEASON

Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has decided to opt out of the 2020 MLB season

"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 wrote Monday in a statement published by CAA Baseball.


The 35-year-old made it clear that he is not retiring yet but still has not decided on his future in baseball beyond this year. Friday, Zimmerman told The Associated Press that he was still weighing his options for the season:

"When it comes down to it, it's a decision not just for me, but for my family as well," he said. "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."

"There's a lot of factors that I and others have to consider. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer; it's everybody's individual choice."

Nationals starter Joe Ross has also decided not to play this season, Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic reports. Two or three other Nationals players are reportedly still deciding whether or not they will play this season.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said that the team supports players' decisions to focus on their family during the COVID-19 pandemic: "We are 100 percent supportive of their decision to not play this year. We will miss their presence in the clubhouse and their contributions on the field," Rizzo said, according to Ghiroli.

All MLB players have the option to sit out the shortened 2020 season, but only those determined to be at a high risk of contracting the disease will reportedly receive full prorated pay and service time.



Any high-risk player who opts out will have the option to rejoin his team later in the campaign if the team physician and an MLB joint committee approve, according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic. Players deemed to be high-risk would reportedly be ineligible to return during the regular season or playoffs.
JAMES TUBB
JUNE 29, 2020  (17H48)
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