Giants don't expect players to forgo 2020 MLB season over coronavirus

Giants don't expect players to forgo 2020 MLB season over coronavirus

About an hour before Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler talked with reporters Monday, it became known that former Giants and current Diamondbacks starter Mike Leake would sit out the 2020 season.

As Zaidi and Kapler answered questions on a Zoom call, the Nationals revealed that first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and starting pitcher Joe Ross also will not be playing this year. 

It is a fear that hangs over the sport, and as organizations prepare to return to camp this Wednesday, there's a sense that those three are just the beginning. The expectation is that other players will follow and opt out of the 60-game season, but at least for now, the Giants are preparing for their full squad. 

Kapler said he connected with more than 25 players on Sunday alone and has talked to all of the club's established veterans, and there's no hint of opting out. 

"Nobody mentioned anything to me," Kapler said. "I don't anticipate having an issue there. I've talked to a great number of our players and nobody has brought that up."

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Players who are deemed high-risk can opt out because of coronavirus concerns and still be paid, but unless they have that designation they surrender their salaries and service time by opting out. That, of course, wouldn't be as much of a concern for older players who already have signed massive contracts, but most of the Giants' veterans have indicated on social media that they're heading to San Francisco or already here. 

Even if all of the players choose to come, the Giants might still have some familiar faces missing. They have a young coaching staff, but Zaidi said there are one or two cases of staffers the organization is "still working through." The Minnesota Twins announced Monday that two coaches in their sixties will not be in the dugout this season.

"We're still evaluating that," Zaidi said of staffers. "Almost all of our players and staff were considered low to moderate risk."

[RELATED: Giants, A's working on exhibition games]

The Giants will test players who have been told to arrive Wednesday and will kick off camp Friday. They do not expect any players to have issues reporting on time.

Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow provide outlook on different 2020 MLB season

Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow provide outlook on different 2020 MLB season

With Spring Training 2.0 opening up around Major League Baseball this weekend, no one is more excited about the return of our National Pastime than the legendary voices of Giants baseball, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow. 

“I’m thrilled," Kuiper said during a recent conversation. "I’m thrilled for me, personally, selfishly that I get to go to the ballpark and do a game with Mike. Now I can’t wait for the schedule to come out and drive to the ballpark. I’ll even be happy stuck in traffic driving to the park.”

“Well, he’ll be happy for like two days stuck in traffic.” Krukow said.

And there’s a lot to look forward to in what will be a season unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Instead of a marathon, it’s become a 60-game sprint, which Krukow believes is a huge advantage for a team like the Giants.

“It’s a golden opportunity," Krukow said. "Everyone keeps talking about the rebuild. Well, the Giants have one of the older teams in baseball. What older teams have learned, especially the ones who have been champions, they learn the importance of chemistry. They learn the importance of a good attitude. And I think that is going to be paramount when they gather up.

"We thought the Giants had a great spring training. There was really a nice foundation being laid of a positive vibe. If they get off to a good start, it’s a sprint. They could be in the playoffs. And once they get into the playoffs, who knows what could happen.”

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