Despite initially voting to stay in Tampa and continue on with Spring Training, the New York Yankees will head home.
In a meeting with the team on Friday, the players voted to stay in Florida and use Steinbrenner Field’s facilities. Meanwhile, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, spring training exhibitions had been canceled. Yet, the MLB had yet to postpone the season’s April 9 start date, and teams were excited to continue working towards Opening Day.
However, all of this changed on Sunday when the MLB unveiled new plans.
In a memo sent out to all 30 teams, non-roster players were encouraged to go home. Meanwhile, members of the 40-man roster were permitted to stay with a couple of conditions. Per the MLB, those who remained on site were to avoid training with a significant number of other players.
With the leagues new restrictions, it began to set in for players that an April 9 Opening Day was seeming less likely. It was later announced on Monday that season would not get underway until mid-May, at the earliest.
According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, many of the Yankees felt that the new conditions defeated the purpose of being unified in Tampa.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 16, 2020
As a result, members of the Yankees’ organization will head back to their respective homes.
First case of COVID-19
The first confirmed case of coronavirus in the MLB was announced on Sunday.
Denny Larrondo, a 17-year-old Yankees prospect, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after having been quarantined since Friday.
Though the minor league pitcher hadn’t been around Steinbrenner Field, the minor league’s practice facility is less than a mile away.
Yankees confirm that a minor leaguer tested positive for coronavirus. He was never present at Steinbrenner Field, according to the team, but was at the minor league complex.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 15, 2020
After confirming the case, the rest of the Yankees’ prospects are being quarantined.
Members of the Yankees who decided to stay in Tampa could resume training as early as Tuesday morning.
However, the new start date for the Major League season remains unknown — as do any plans of an additional Spring Training.