Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals, Joe Ross choose to leave the 2020 season

Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross are opting for the shortened 2020 season “for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones,” the team announced Monday.

Zimmerman, 35, was the Nationals’ first draft pick when the franchise moved from Montreal and has played for the team since its debut on September 1, 2005.

“After much thought and consideration of my family’s circumstances (three young children, including a newborn and a high-risk mother), I decided not to participate in the 2020 season,” Zimmerman said in a statement.

Zimmerman hit .257 with six home runs and 27 RBIs in 171 at-bats last season and had a dramatic home run in Game 1 of the World Series.

“Everyone knows how much being a team means to me, and I will really miss that camaraderie this year. Of course I would love to pursue consecutive titles. I cannot speak for anyone else, but given Due to the unusual nature of the season, This is the best decision for me and my family, and I really appreciate the understanding and support of the organization. “

He had been slated to play in a one-year, $ 2 million contract this season after the Nationals refused to exercise a $ 18 million club option.

“To be clear, I am not retiring at this time,” he said. “I haven’t decided on my future in baseball after 2020. But this year I will stay safe at home and push as hard as anybody to have our guys defend their championship.”

Right-hander Ross, 27, was 4-4 with a 5.38 ERA for the Nationals last season.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo released a statement of support Monday.

“Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have decided not to participate in the 2020 season for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. We support them 100 percent in their decision not to play this year. We will miss their presence in the clubhouse and his contributions in the field. “

Zimmerman and Ross became the second and third known players to choose not to participate in the 2020 season on Monday, after Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake.