Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis has elected to opt out of playing in 2020, it was announced today. The 36 year old was slated to be part of the Braves’ outfield depth this season. Due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, players are allowed to opt out of playing in 2020, though unless they have underlying health conditions that make them high risk they will forego their 2020 salaries.
Markakis is on a one year, $4 million deal with Atlanta, having re-signed there as a free agent after having spent the 2015-19 seasons with the club. Markakis slashed .285/.356/.420 in 469 plate appearances in 2019, and would have presumably been in the mix for at least a platoon role as a DH this year, since pitchers will not be hitting in 2020, and National League teams will have an extra spot available for a hitter in their lineup.
Markakis isn’t the last player to opt out, I imagine, and he’s in a category — veteran who has made a lot of money in his career and who is looking at a limited role in 2020 — which I suspect will have the largest numbers of players who forego playing this year.