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On Friday it was reported that Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was considering opting out of the 2020 season. He has considered it. And yes, he is opting out. That’s the report from Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic. Zimmerman previously cited the facts that (a) he has a three-week-old baby at home; and (b) his mother has multiple sclerosis, which compromises a person’s immune system. In light of that it’s understandable that he has decided to err on the side of caution.
Per Major League Baseball’s health and safety guidelines, Zimmerman will forfeit his pay and service time for 2020, as only a high risk on the part of the player himself, as opposed to family members, triggers the pay/service time protections built in to the agreement between MLB and the MLBPA.
Zimmerman re-signed with the Nationals on a one-year, $2 million contract over the offseason after being limited to just 52 games due to injury last year. It was thought that if he could not re-sign with Washington that he’d prefer to retire. In light of his opting-out of the 2020 season, it’s very possible that Zimmerman’s big league career is now, effectively, over.
UPDATE: Zimmerman is saying he is NOT retiring: