Players at Major League Baseball spring training camps have been advised to go home, a source tells Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown. An MLB/MLBPA directive is behind that advice, according to the source.
According to source, an MLB and MLBPA directive is behind players being advised to leave camps.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) March 13, 2020
Brown reports that teams are reading the directive as an indication that the season won’t start on April 9, as was hoped when MLB announced a delay to opening day. League and union officials had reportedly been meeting in Arizona Friday to determine next steps.
Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said on a call with reporters that players can leave if they would like, or remain at teams’ spring training sites. Team president Sam Kennedy said the club has not had any positive tests for COVID-19.
The news arrives a day after MLB announced the suspension of the rest of the spring training schedule and a delay to the start of the regular season by at least two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many questions remain about the season due to the unknowns surrounding the outbreak.
Players have options
Yahoo Sports’ Hannah Keyser reported that camps will remain open for the players who wish to stay, but the facilities may not be fully staffed.
A slight correction to what's out there: players have the option to return home but they are also allowed to stay in camp. Facilities are supposed to remain open but may not be fully staffed.— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) March 13, 2020
The official memo from the MLBPA, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, gives players three choices.
1. Stay in the area of the spring training facility
2. Travel to their club’s home city
3. Travel to their off-season home (or other location)
In a statement released Friday, MLB confirmed the contents of the MLBPA memo.
Bloom, on the call addressing Boston’s handling of the coronavirus situation, said the team wasn’t sure how many players would choose to leave.
Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown report that major league and minor league umpires have been told they can return home.
Major league umpires have been told they can return to their homes and families. Minor league umps, some of whom had already reported, have been told the same.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) March 13, 2020
More from Yahoo Sports: