As Major League Baseball prepares to open its abbreviated 2020 season, the players are not the only ones looking to opt out for the season.

About 10 Major League umpires have also chosen to sit out the season over health concerns and the COVID-19 virus.

Currently MLB has 76 full time umpires, about a quarter of whom are over the age of 55.  Joe West and Gerry Davis are the oldest at 67.

Umpires…and players…who opt out due to high risk – age, health risk, etc. – will be paid for the season even if they don’t work.

Umpires are paid on a 12 month cycle instead of seasonal.

With the Minor League season having been cancelled, Minor League umpires who have previously filled in at the major league level can fill in, in case of a shortage.

Like the players, the umpires have to prepare for the upcoming season and have begun officiating at intrasquad and exhibition games.