Braves’ Outfielder Nick Markakis Opts Back Into 2020 Season

Tim Kelly
July 29, 2020 - 12:37 pm

In a rather shocking development, Atlanta Braves' outfielder Nick Markakis announced Wednesday that he is reversing course, and has re-joined the two-time defending National League East Champions.

Markakis, who had initially opted out of playing in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, offered this explanation:

"I've talked to my teammates...I've talked to (general manager) Alex (Anthopoulos) and (manager Brian) Snitker and all of those guys...and I'd like to come back. Sitting at home, watching these guys compete the last couple days...and all the risks that they're taking going out a way, deep down in the pit of my stomach, I felt like I needed to be out there. I had the opportunity to be welcomed back and here I am. I'm gonna do my best to get back as quickly as I can and help these guys out."

Markakis, 36, slashed .285/.336/.420 with nine home runs, 62 RBIs and a 0.4 fWAR across 116 games a season ago. Not only could 2020 potentially be the three-time Gold Glove Award winner's final chance to compete for a World Series, but not playing could potentially keep him from securing a job this winter. An All-Star for the Braves in 2018, Markakis signed a one-year/$4 million deal to return to the team for a sixth season this past offseason.

In a way, Markakis is lucky he has this opportunity. NFL players that opt out of the 2020 season are not able to return. Apparently such a rule doesn't exist in MLB.

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