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Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross & Mike Leake To Sit Out 2020 MLB Season

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Three MLB players have decided to not return to the field for the 2020 season, which is slated to begin next month.

The defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals will be without pitcher Joe Ross and All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who have decided to sit out the 60-game seaason.

Zimmerman released a statement, emphasizing that he's not retiring, but simply choosing to do what's best for his family this season.

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, Arizona Cardinals pitcher Mike Leake will not play out the 2020 season. Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports added that Leake will forfeit about $5 million this year.

Zimmerman was a key part of the Nationals' 2019 championship season. In 52 games, he batted .257 with a .736 OPS. When healthy, he's a consistent threat to hit 20-plus home runs and 70-plus RBI. Zimmerman, one of the league's best third baseman over the past decade, has batted .279 for his career.

Ross, who has five seasons of MLB experience, has spent his entire career with the Nationals. He appeared in 27 games last season, posting a 4-4 record with a 5.48 ERA in 64 innings pitched. He appeared in seven total innings during the 2019 postseason, allowing four earned runs, but Ross did just enough to help the Nationals win the World Series.

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The 32-year-old Leake, who won his first career Gold Glove last season, went 12-11 last season (split with the Seattle Mariners and Diamondbacks). He finished with a season ERA of 4.29, recording 127 strikeouts against 27 walks.

Last week, MLB and the MLPPA agreed to a 60-game season after frustrating and unproductive back and forth negotiations. The regular season will run through Sept. 27, with the playoffs beginning two days later. The World Series is scheduled to conclude by Oct. 28.

In order to cut back on traveling, each team will play 40 divisional games (10 against each opponent) and 20 games against the corresponding geographical division in the other league; the AL West vs. the NL West, the AL Central vs. the NL Central and the AL East vs. the NL East.

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