A player in the Yankees’ farm system has tested positive for coronavirus, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (via Twitter). He becomes the first known case in pro baseball. The player was quarantined Friday morning.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, all Yankees minor leaguers have been instructed to self-quarantine in their hotel rooms for the next two weeks. GM Brian Cashman told reporters including The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler that the organization has only administered one coronavirus test (this positive one) thus far. Meanwhile, the team’s minor league complex will remain closed until March 25 at the earliest.
The player involved was only on the minor-league side of Yankees’ camp this spring, Passan adds. The minor-league complex has been closed since, although that was part of the team’s plan regardless, reports Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). That the player who tested positive wasn’t in major league camp hardly means MLB is insulated from the disease, of course.
It seemed like only a matter of time before the virus spread to the affiliated ranks. The NBA quickly suspended its season once the first player tested positive this week. MLB, of course, since followed suit, and teams were already set to cease group-organized workouts at their facilities. MLB has already sent minor-leaguers home; it seems the only reason the league hasn’t done the same with players on 40-man rosters is a lack of authority to do so under the collective bargaining agreement.