Which players on the Nationals have opted out of the 2020 season?
The 2020 MLB season is set to begin on July 23. However, with the threat of the Coronavirus, multiple players have already opted out due to various reasons. This should come as no surprise. A few days ago MLB did their first round of testing and 31 players tested positive. Since then, more players from various teams have tested positive, such as Freddie Freeman from the Atlanta Braves, and two unnamed Nationals players. Now multiple players on the Nationals have already opted out and apparently a few more players are still undecided. Here is a list of players on the Nats that will not be suiting up with the team for the 2020 season.
The Nationals presumed fifth starter announced last week that he will be sitting out. The team stated the reason being,
"“for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones,”."
Joe Ross underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and has slowly been working back since. During the 2019 season, Ross started to show glimpses of his old self. In nine starts, the 27-year-old went 4-4, with a 5.48 ERA, while striking out 57. The righty started game five of the World Series for the team. This is a difficult decision for Ross due to risking his spot in the starting rotation, but safety comes first.
The face of the franchise announced a few weeks ago that he was undecided about playing or not. We can close the books on that question.
"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. 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."
Shortly after his decision was announced, many speculated if Ryan Zimmerman had played his final game in the league. Zimmerman, 35, hasn’t appeared in over 140 games since 2017 and is constantly battling the injury bug. On the backend of his career, this is a fair question to ask.
Welington Castillo signed with the Nats on a minor league deal back in January and was named to the teams 60 man roster. The team announced Castillo will be sitting out the upcoming season. He was unlikely to make the 25 man roster due to the team already having Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki splitting time behind the plate. The veteran backstop hasn’t appeared in over 100 games in a season since 2017, seeing his playing time diminish every year since.
This article will be updated if/when more Nationals opt-out.