MLB players opting out of 2020 season: Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Leake headline list of players sitting out due to coronavirus concerns

With MLB players due to report for summer training camp this week, word is trickling out about multiple players who have decided to sit out the season. Players who are considered high-risk will still receive salaries and service time this season, but players who did not receive that designation will not be paid or accumulate service time.

Here’s a full list of who has opted out:

Mike Leake, RHP, Diamondbacks

Leake, who was expected to be part of Arizona’s rotation this season, announced his intention to sit out through his agent, Danny Horwits.

“During this global pandemic, Mike and his family had many discussions about playing this season,” Horwits said in a statement. “They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has chosen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the best of luck and health for his Diamondbacks teammates this season and he’s looking forward to 2021.”

Leake will forfeit his $5.5 million prorated salary for deciding to skip the season.

Ryan Zimmerman, INF, Nationals

Zimmerman, a 35-year-old franchise cornerstone for the Nationals, previously wrote in a guest piece for the Associated Press that he was considering skipping that decision. On June 29, he made his decision official in a statement released through his agency, CAA Sports.

“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,” Zimmermann 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 the guys to defend our championship.”

Joe Ross, RHP, Nationals

Ross, a 27-year-old righty who has appeared in 78 games for the Nationals since 2015, decided to opt out on June 29.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed the news.

“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,” general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed in a statement. “We are one hundred percent supportive of their decision not to play this year. We will miss their presence in the clubhouse and their contributions on the field.”

Related links:

Boston Red Sox 60-man player pool: No players expected to sit out season; Jarren Duran, Tanner Houck among non 40-man roster candidates

Boston Red Sox major leaguer tested positive for coronavirus, now asymptomatic

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