The Boston Red Sox are scheduled to make their first trip to Toronto as part of a four-game set against the Blue Jays beginning next Monday (April 25). When the Red Sox do make that trip, they'll have to do it without a few players, including right-handed starter Tanner Houck, according to Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe.
Canada's rules dictate that unvaccinated individuals are not permitted to enter the country. Individuals must have at least two dosages of an mRNA vaccine, or one of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In the case of the former, the most recent shot must have been administered at least 14 days prior to entering.
Houck, for his part, admitted that he won't be able to take his turn in the rotation during that series. He also told McWilliams: "I think it's a personal choice for everyone whether they get it or not. So, that's all I really got to say on it."
Players who are ineligible to play in the games in Toronto will be placed on the restricted list. While there, they will not receive pay or accrue service time (the mechanism that determines free agency) for the games they missed.
Houck, 25, has been a sensation for the Red Sox in 95 career big-league innings. He's posted a 2.94 ERA (161 ERA+) and a 3.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Baseball Reference has estimated that his contributions have been worth nearly three Wins Above Replacement. The Red Sox have not yet announced who will take Houck's start.
It's unknown which other Red Sox players will be on the sidelines for the Blue Jays series, though manager Alex Cora told reporters the team is expected to be missing other players in Toronto. Last season, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal highlighted the Red Sox as a team with a low vaccination rate relative to the rest of the league.
The Oakland Athletics made their first trip to Toronto last week, and in doing so had to place three players on the restricted list -- ostensibly to abide by Canada's rules.
It should be noted that the Blue Jays are not necessarily benefitting from a competitive advantage. Toronto was unable to pursue unvaccinated players during the offseason, lest they add someone to their roster who would not be eligible to play in home games.