Los Angeles Times

Mike Leake, Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross are first MLB players to opt out of season

Ryan Zimmerman has been a fixture in the Washington Nationals lineup and clubhouse since the franchise moved from Montreal in 2005, and he was a key reserve on a team that beat the Houston Astros in a thrilling seven-game World Series last October.

But if Major League Baseball is able to launch a pandemic-shortened 60-game season in late July, the Nationals will defend their title without the 35-year-old corner infielder who was considered the heart and soul of the organization.

Zimmerman and Nationals pitcher Joe Ross, 27, have opted out of the abbreviated 2020 season "for the personal health and safety of themselves and

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