Spring training has been suspended, but with teams still largely congregated in Arizona and Florida, Major League Baseball has sent a memo to all teams informing them of updated guidelines during the outbreak of COVID-19.
MLB is recommending that teams “avoid all activities in which players congregate in significant numbers.” The Athletic’s Evan Drellich tweeted out the full memo.
The full memo Major League Baseball has sent to teams about spring training: pic.twitter.com/LihlK1F2C6— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 15, 2020
“The risk of a player in a club facility contracting the virus is real, and we must implement protocols to protect the safety and well-being of our players and staff members,” the memo read. “In addition, we must recognize that there is the potential for further federal and state restrictions that will impact our operations, including restrictions on travel.”
Drellich shared the memo 14 minutes before ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the first positive test of the coronavirus in baseball.
A minor league player in the New York Yankees system has tested positive for coronavirus, sources tell ESPN. He is the first known case in baseball. He was quarantined Friday morning after saying he was running a fever.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 15, 2020
MLB’s memo to teams included the following other guidelines:
- All non-roster players should return to their offseason residences if feasible and if they do not require ongoing treatment from the team’s medical personnel.
- Players on the 40-man roster must be permitted to remain at the club’s spring training site. They are not required to do so, but if they choose to, teams must provide facilities and the usual spring training allowances.
- Teams are not permitted to hold or organize any group workouts, practices, conditioning sessions, etc.
- Non-essential staff are being strongly encouraged to return to the club’s home city
The Cubs had already been following many of these rules on their own, as team president Theo Epstein laid out on Friday. Rick Hahn also explained how the White Sox were planning to stay ready when he spoke to the media on Friday.
The commissioner is scheduled to have a conference call on Monday at 11 a.m. to update the teams, so there could be more details and updates then.