The 2020 MLB season will be just over one-third of the length of a regular MLB season, as the league mandated a 60-game schedule. The simple fact that a season will, at some point, take place doesn't mean that every big-name MLB player will be along from the ride. Due to either injury concerns, impending free agency, or both, these five might actually find it more beneficial to just sit the entire season out and prepare for 2021.
5. Cardinals RP Jordan Hicks
Hicks is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, as he seems to have just discovered that whipping 103 mile per hour sinkers in his early 20s might cause some strain on his arm muscles. Even with the injury, Hicks projects as St. Louis' closer for the foreseeable future. Rushing him back from injury could accidentally shred his arm to pieces. The Cardinals need to take Hicks' recovery as slowly as possible.
4. Phillies SS Didi Gregorius
Didi signed a one-year "prove it" deal with the Phillies, as he is looking to prove he can still be an elite offensive shortstop after losing his gig to Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and Gio Urshela last season. Even with his old manager Joe Girardi back at the helm in Philadelphia, there is no way that Gregorius is going to earn a big contract based off of a 60-game stretch, unless he suddenly turns into Mike Schmidt. Trying this "prove it" deal in 2021 is a much better way for Didi to rehabilitate his stock.
3. Mets RP Dellin Betances
Betances pitched in just one game last year, as a multitude of injuries all but ruined his 2019 season. Betances signed with the Mets to prove he is still one of the best relief pitchers in the game today, but doing so might be much harder over a 60-game sample size in which Betances may only get about 25 appearances during the whole season. Suiting up in 2021 might be a more prudent option for Betances, especially considering how serious his injuries were.
2. Astros OF George Springer
Springer seems destined to hit the open market, but his three consecutive seasons of All-Star production might not be enough to earn him a lucrative deal in 2021 and beyond given his age and injury history. Springer playing in 2020 only makes it more likely that injury or one unlucky cold streak derails the soon-to-be 31-year-old's chances of securing a nine-figure contract. The Astros have enough firepower without him, so Springer should sit out if he is considering bolting Houston as a free agent.
1. Brewers OF Christian Yelich
Yelich won an MVP in 2018, and he likely would have picked up a second in 2019 if he didn't miss most of September with a nasty injury. The Brewers have Yelich locked up until 2029, making him the clear face of the franchise. Would it really be worth it for Milwaukee to force a potentially fragile Yelich to tough it out through a hastily-assembled 60-game gauntlet so Milwaukee can post a 31-29 record? Probably not. This might be tough to swallow, but Milwaukee should rest Yelich, write off 2020 as a lost cause, and get ready to contend in 2021.