Mets player on 40-man roster and other minor leaguers test positive for coronavirus
One player on the Mets’ current 40-man roster has tested positive for the coronavirus, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said during a conference call on Monday. A number of minor leaguers within the team’s farm system, but not currently on the 40-man, have also tested positive.
Van Wagenen said the player who tested positive is “recovering” and the team thinks he is “in a good position.” It is unclear whether that player, who remains unidentified, will begin practicing with the team this week or be placed on the newly created COVID-19 injured list.
The Mets have been instructed to arrive at Citi Field on Wednesday, with their first full-squad workout scheduled for Friday.
“We’ve been incredibly fortunate,” Van Wagenen said. “We’ve seen and heard a lot of the reports from teams around the league, but we’ve been very, very fortunate that we’ve only had one player on our 40-man roster test positive since this entire world started being affected by it back in February. I think it’s a credit to not only the education our players received but also their best habits and best practices that they’ve exhibited over the course of the last few months.”
The Mets join several other clubs to announce a player or employee has tested positive for the virus. The Philies, Blue Jays, Astros, Diamondbacks, Indians, Rockies, Twins and Rangers are other known teams with positive cases.
Major League Baseball has required each team to make its own COVID-19 “Action Plan” before workouts begin this week should any player test positive. That plan must include the choices a team will provide to the player if he tests positive at home or on the road. Players will be tested for the virus every other day and be required to take daily temperate checks.
“The protocols are fairly extensive to protect not only the individual who has the virus, but also the rest of his teammates and the coaches,” Van Wagenen said. “We’ll continue to follow that protocol outlined by baseball, but we’re optimistic that that player can return as early as the start of camp or hopefully soon thereafter. But it’s just so hard to predict with this virus.”
Players around the league are expected to opt out of the 2020 season, due to being high-risk themselves or declining to be placed in a situation that will put family members and others at risk. Nationals teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross both announced on Monday they are opting out of the 60-game season “for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones,” the team said.
Van Wagenen said, so far, that is not the case with the Mets. He expects every player to travel to Citi Field and participate in workouts this week.
“At this point, we’ve stayed in communication with our players,” Van Wagenen said. “We want to support them and make sure they feel safe and that they’re in an environment where they can be healthy through the course of the year.
“Education is important. We need to make sure that we start with informing our players of what procedures are in place. We want to follow that up with helping them understand how to comply with those procedures. And three, make sure they’re respecting each other, because anything that happens both here at the ballpark as well as at home and on the road is going to impact not only what individuals can accomplish, but also what this team can accomplish collectively.”