Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross elect not to play in 2020 Major League Baseball season

D-Backs' Mike Leake Opts Out Of MLB Restart, First Player To Withdraw

Three major league baseball players will sit out the 2020 season over coronavirus concerns, including two from the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals.

"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 in a statement.

In a statement, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross have both opted not to play this season.

Zimmerman, who plays for the Nationals, expressed disappointment he would not be able to get a shot at back-to-back titles but said this was "the best decision for me and my family".

Ross and the former University of Virginia Cavalier in Zimmerman are the latest to join athletes in other professional sports, such as Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers, in announcing their choice to not participate in their leagues 2020 plans for now. "I can not 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". There's a lot of factors that I and others have to consider. "I think I would probably have a different answer if it was over 162 (games) as opposed to if it was over 60".

As part of his announcement, the 35-year-old Zimmerman said he's not retiring.

The right-handed Ross, 27, was 4-4 with a 5.38 ERA for the Nationals last season.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said the team supports players' decisions to focus on family during the COVID-19 pandemic. Major League Baseball is allowing players with preexisting medical conditions or compromised immune systems - i.e., "high risk"- to opt out of the. Leake was due $5,555,556 USA as the prorated share of his $15 million salary.



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