The Washington Nationals will try to defend their World Series title without at least two holdovers from last year’s team, including one of the faces of the franchise.
Longtime infielder Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross elected not to play this season, the team announced Monday.
General manager Mike Rizzo said Zimmerman and Ross are opting out for the safety of themselves and their families.
“We are 100% supportive of their decision to not play this year,” Rizzo said.
Zimmerman is a two-time All-Star infielder who has played 15 years in the majors, all with the Nationals.