Nick Markakis opts out of the 2020 season

Nick Markakis is opting back in
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Braves outfielder Nick Markakis has opted out of the 2020 season.

In announcing his decision, Markakis said, “with everything that’s going on not just in baseball but in the world, it makes you open your eyes. I’ve got three kids that I’ve missed for 11 years now.” He added that he recently spoke with teammate Freddie Freemanwho has COVID-19 and has been quite sick — calling it “tough and eye opening . . . he didn’t sound good.” Markakis said that “the decision I’m making to sit out this year is the right one for me and my family.”

Markakis, a 14-year big league veteran who turned 36 this past offseason, hit .285/.356/.420 with nine homers and 62 RBI over 116 games in 2019. He was under contract for $4 million in 2020 and was likely to be the Braves starting right fielder once again. He is the second Braves player to opt out following pitcher Félix Hernández.