A second big name MLB player has tested positive for COVID-19 in the early days of spring training. On Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox announced first baseman and reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu has tested positive for the virus, and will remain isolated for the next several days. Shane Bieber, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, tested positive last week.
"He believes he contracted a mild case of the disease in January, which is reinforced by the presence of COVID antibodies in additional testing," White Sox GM Rich Hahn said in a statement. "Other than being frustrated, Jose feels great and, like the rest of us, is looking forward to when he rejoins the club in the not too distant future."
Hahn added Abreu is "completely asymptomatic" at this point. Per the 2021 health and safety protocols, players who test positive for COVID-19 must quarantine a minimum of 10 days, meaning Abreu will not join the White Sox until after Cactus League play begins this weekend. Chicago opens its exhibition schedule Sunday.
Abreu, 34, authored a .317/.370/.617 batting line with 19 home runs and 60 RBI in 60 games en route to the league's MVP award a year ago. Generally speaking, spring training is too long for position players. As long as Abreu can get into game action by the middle of March, he should be ready to go for Opening Day.
After pitchers and catchers reported to spring training last week, MLB announced there were only 13 positive tests (nine players and four staff members) among 4,336 samples during intake testing. The league has not yet announced this week's intake testing results for position players.