“Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have decided not to participate in the season 2020 for their personal health and safety and those of their loved ones,” said the director general of the Nationals, Mike Rizzo, in a statement released by the club. “We support 100% their decision not to play this year. We will miss their presence at the club-house and their contributions on the field. ”
When Major League Baseball announced last week its intention to unilaterally impose a season of 60 games, the players had the right to withdraw. Only those who are deemed “high risk” of contracting COVID-19 and who might suffer the severe effects of the disease are guaranteed their salary and their service time prorated for this season. People who retire are at risk of losing their wages and their hours of service, but the teams are allowed to pay for them if they wish.
Zimmerman, whose wife has just given birth to the third child of the couple at the beginning of the month, and whose mother suffers from multiple sclerosis, has publicly recognized at the end of last week that he was not sure of being able to play this season. He came to the conclusion these past few days that it wasn’t worth the risk to her family.
“After much thought and considering my family situation – three young children, including a newborn and a mother-to-high-risk – I decided not to participate in the season 2020,” wrote Zimmerman in a press release issued this afternoon by his agency, CAA. “Everyone knows how much it means to me to be part of a team, and that team camaraderie I’ll miss a lot this year. Of course, I would like to pursue consecutive titles. I can’t speak for anyone else, but given the unusual nature of the season, this is the best decision for me and my family, and I really appreciate the understanding and support of the organization. ”
The player base of 35-year-old had been one of the players the best-paid of the national for years, with career earnings of 137 492 000 $. But he has negotiated a new agreement with the club over the winter which has guaranteed only $ 2 million this season, as well as incentives that will not be possible in a season shortened to 60 games.
By accepting the contract lesser, Zimmerman has also agreed to play a lesser role this season. He expected to share the first basic employment with a new acquisition Eric Thames and the star of return of the series Howie Kendrickwhile getting more attackers as batting right-handed.
The addition of the striker designated with the games of the national League during this unusual season has seemed to open the door to more playing time for Zimmerman. The Nationals will miss his bat, but they seem to be well placed to continue without him, Thames, and Kendrick joining the new player’s second goal Starlin Castro and the return of veteran infielder Asdrúbal Cabrera as viable alternatives.
The owner of the record-breaking franchise Expos / Nationals for the blows of circuit (270), points (products (1015), the hits (1784), the double (401) and total goals (3039), Zimmerman finally had the chance to play in his first world series last fall. . It has produced the first inning of the Nats series with a circuit of match 1 against the former ace of the Astros Gerrit Cole and finished the season 14 after 55 with two circuits, seven rbi and 0,735 OPS.
Although he had stated last winter that he was not ready to retire, Zimmerman acknowledged that he would proceed from one year to the other. The decision today could potentially mark the end of his career, but he insisted on the fact that he was not yet ready to make that call.
“To be clear, I do not take my retirement for the moment,” said Zimmerman. “I have not yet decided my future in baseball after 2020. But this year, I’m going to stay in the safety of the house and pull as hard as anyone for the guys defending our championship. ”
Ross, meanwhile, will remain under the control of Nationals even after missing the coming season, during which he was ready to play a leading role.
The right-handed 27-year-old was one of three candidates to open the season as the fifth from the club and probably had the leg up on Austin Voth and Erick Fedde for the work on the basis of its history and of its good performance during the second half of last season.
Although he has struggled mightily in several stints as a reliever, Ross has excelled in eight starts in the sequence, going 4-1 with a MPM of 2.75. He finished by taking a starting of urgency in game 5 of the World Series when Max Scherzer had to be scratched with severe spasms in the neck.
Ross was to earn $ 1.5 million this season, his second of four seasons of arbitration-eligible. With four years and 18 days of service in the big leagues, he would become free agent after the season 2021. By choosing to withdraw, he can see what day key pushed back to the end of the season 2022.
The Nationals now have two openings on their player pool of 60 players that have just been announced, the group of players who will be eligible to participate in the league games this season. They may choose to add others within their organization or to acquire players from the outside.
The camp for summer training of three weeks the club is expected to tentatively start on Friday at the national park, the players being required to attend no later than Wednesday to be able to be tested for the coronavirus.