With Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association continuing their negotiations for a 2020 season, the two sides are now forced to grapple with outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in the past week. Forty MLB players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today,
The recent positive COVID-19 tests in the league have created an added sense of urgency in the labor negotiations between the two sides, Nightengale says. The positive tests came from players and staff who have been at MLB spring training facilities, and the exact number of clubs affected isn't known but is reportedly more than 10, Jon Heyman of MLB Network adds.
Five Philadelphia Philliesplayers and three team staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the team confirmed on Friday. The outbreak occurred at the Phillies spring training facility in Clearwater, Florida. Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays closed their Dunedin, Florida. spring training facility after a pitcher on the 40-man roster began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
MLB has reportedly shut down all spring training facilities after the outbreaks. The training camps will temporarily close and facilities will undergo a deep cleaning. Players will need to test negative before they can be permitted to return.
Over the weekend, the players postponed their vote on the league's 60-game season proposal with full prorated salaries and are set to vote Monday.