Welington Castillo becomes third Nationals player to opt out of MLB season

Feb 21, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Washington Nationals catcher Welington Castillo poses for a photo during media day at Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

It’s becoming somewhat of a troubling trend surrounding the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals. Multiple players deciding to opt out of the truncated 2020 MLB season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We can now add another player to that growing list.

Welington Castillo becomes third Nationals player to opt out of MLB season

Having signed a minor league contract with the Nationals during the winter, Castillo joins first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and relief pitcher Joe Ross as members of the Nationals to opt out of the season.

The 33-year-old backup catcher likely wouldn’t have earned a spot on the Nationals’ active roster, but depth at this position during a global pandemic is somewhat of a big deal.

2020 MLB season still expected to start as planned

Despite the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases around the United States, MLB expects Opening Day to take place on July 23. It will include a nationally televised doubleheader, one of which pits these Nationals against the New York Yankees in D.C.

It’s going to be interesting to see if higher-profile players simply decide the 60-game regular season is not worth the hassle. As of right now, Zimmerman is the best-known player around the baseball world to opt out.