On Thursday, Major League Baseball suspended operations through at least the first two weeks of the regular season due to the countrywide spread of the novel coronavirus. While no baseball player has tested positive for COVID-19, at least one player has been tested for the virus.
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said on Friday that a minor-league player was tested "out of an abundance of caution," per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The player, who has not been identified, tested negative, the team announced Saturday.
A number of professional athletes and coaches from other sports have tested positive for coronavirus. The majority of those cases have stemmed from soccer leagues, but there are some exceptions, such as Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
Based on sheer probability, it's only a matter of time before a baseball player tests positive. Given the amount of personnel in and around a clubhouse in spring training, when big-leaguers and minor-leaguers share facilities, baseball teams would seem particularly at risk for widespread infection.
On Friday, MLB and the Players Association supplied players with three options. Players can either stay around spring-training facilities; return to their offseason homes; or head to their teams' host cities. A number of teams are taking precautions by closing their facilities for a few days for cleaning and other disinfection purposes.
Also on Friday, Boston Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said MLB remains hopeful it can play a full 162-game schedule despite the postponement. The missed games would be tacked on at the end of the season, all but ensuring the World Series wouldn't conclude until well into November. Kennedy conceded the likelihood of a full season will decline with the more games missed. MLB is said to be considering opening the year playing in empty ballparks, per Kennedy.