Here are the Major League Baseball players who opted out of 2020 season and whyJuly 1, 2020 3:01am

June 30-- Wednesday is the first day of July, and it's the month in which Major League Baseball is scheduled to return.

The unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic could change those plans, but the Royals are set to begin workouts Friday at Kauffman Stadium and begin games either July 23 or 24.

The other 29 teams will also be opening camps and nearly all are expected to be held at their home stadiums.

Some players, however, have announced they will sit out this season because of the coronavirus.

Here is who won't be playing this year:

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ROCKIES' IAN DESMOND

On Monday, Desmond announced his intention to sit out, but that was only part of his Instagram message, which touched on racism, homophobia and sexism he has witnessed in baseball and much more.

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NATIONALS' RYAN ZIMMERMAN

With three kids at home, Zimmerman didn't want to risk their health as he explained in a message that was tweeted.

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NATIONALS' JOE ROSS

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post Ross based his decision on "the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones."

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DIAMONDBACKS' MIKE LEAKE

Leake's agent Danny Horwitz said in a statement, per USA Today: "During this global pandemic, Mike had many discussions about playing this season. They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has chosen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the best of luck and health for his Diamondbacks teammates this season and he's looking forward to 2021."

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(c)2020 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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