Nick Markakis decides not to play in 2020

Bill Shanks

Braves outfielder Nick Markakis had decided not to play in this shortened 2020 baseball season.

The 36-year-old veteran of 14 Major League seasons is the second Braves player to announce he would not play, following the decision by Felix Hernandez Saturday night to opt out.

There is a difference in what Markakis announced and what Hernandez decided. Players who opt out are required to be at high risk and will be paid and receive service time. Those who decide to simply not play, like Markakis, will not receive pay or service time for 2020.

Markakis, a father of three, has played for the Braves for five seasons. Last year, he hit .285 with nine home runs and 62 RBI in 116 games. He missed significant time late in the season with a broken wrist; it was his first big injury while playing with the Braves.

Markakis admitted the news of Freddie Freeman getting the virus factored in his decision. When speaking with the media on zoom, Markakis also said he hopes this isn’t the end of his career.

Markakis will again be a free agent and might have played his final game with the Braves.

The video of Markakis talking with the media is above.

With Markakis out, the Braves outfield still includes Ronald Acuna, Ender Inciarte, Marcell Ozuna, Adam Duvall, Cristian Pache and Drew Waters. If Ozuna spends most of his time as the designated hitter, Acuna, Inciarte and Duvall will likely be the three main outfielders.

This will probably put Pache on the active list as the main reserve outfielder. Pache was scheduled to go to Triple-A for this season.

With Hernandez and Markakis not playing, the Braves now have 54 players on their 60-man player pool list.

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