Nick Markakis changes his mind about opting out, will rejoin Braves

Liz Roscher
·2-min read

The first week of MLB’s shortened season continues to be unpredictable.

Nick Markakis, outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, has reversed his decision to opt out of the 2020 season.

Markakis, 36, is the first MLB player to reverse his decision to opt out of the season. He originally decided to opt out in early July, saying at the time that a conversation with teammate Freddie Freeman influenced his decision to sit out the MLB season. Freeman had contracted COVID-19, and spoke with Markakis while he was sick with a fever and other symptoms.

"Just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, it was tough," Markakis told ESPN on July 6. "It was kind of eye-opening. With everything that's going on, not just with baseball but all over the world, it makes you open your eyes."

Nick Markakis walks off a baseball field.
Nick Markakis has changed his mind about opting out of the 2020 season and will rejoin the Braves. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

According to Ken Rosenthal and David O’Brien of The Athletic, the decision to opt out “gnawed at” Markakis, and he began to feel like he’d made a “rash decision.”

He, like all players who opted out of the season, was on the restricted list and had to apply for reinstatement from MLB.

Markakis has been with the Braves for five seasons, and hit .285/.356/.420 in 2019. The Braves are 2-3 and have been struggling at the plate in the five games they’ve played so far, hitting a collective .216 with 64 strikeouts, the most in MLB.

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