Washington Nationals

Ryan Zimmerman opts out of 2020 season but is not retiring

As things get ready to ramp up for the 2020 MLB season, Ryan Zimmerman has opted not to play.

When teams report to work this week, the movement toward a 60-game 2020 MLB season will start. A decision to participate or not will be an individual one for players due to COVID-19 concerns, and through his agency, Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has announced he will not play this 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 has the newborn baby he mentioned and his mother has multiple sclerosis, so health concerns outside of himself are at the forefront of his decision not to play this season. At 35 years old, a decision to keep playing or not has become an annual thing for Zimmerman. But he was also clear he is not retiring right now and has not decided what he’ll do in 2021.

“To be clear, I am not retiring at this time. I have not decided on my future in baseball past 2020,”

Zimmerman hit .257/.321/.415 with six home runs and 27 RBI over 52 games for Washington last year, as injuries again limited him. He signed a one-year, $2 million deal to return to the Nationals this offseason. By opting out, he will forego his prorated 2020 salary of $740,000 (h/t to Spotrac).

Zimmerman’s teammate, pitcher Joe Ross, has also opted not to play this season. Earlier on Monday, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake became the first known MLB player to announce he will not play this season.

Zimmerman was the Nationals’ first-ever draft pick after the move to Washington in 2005. So he holds a special place in franchise history, with 270 career home runs, 1,015 RBI, two Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove on his resume.

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