MLB memo tells teams to end organized workouts — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

The league has instructed teams to practice social distancing and end group activities that could enable the further spread of COVID-19.

MLB memo tells teams to end organized workouts — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

MLB sent a memo to all 30 teams in which the league said that teams should “avoid all actives in which players congregate in significant numbers.” The memo advocated that players, coaches and staffers engage in the social distancing practices advocated by the CDC. Evan Drellich has the memo here:Evan Drellich@EvanDrellich

The full memo Major League Baseball has sent to teams about spring training:

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There’s a lot to unpack here. Non-roster players are being sent home unless travel is too great a risk or they live in a COVID-19 hotspot, or they are receiving medial treatment from the team. The memo also states that players on the 40-man roster must be allowed to stay at the facility if they choose to do so, and that they be given continued spring training allowances.

Yet the most telling nugget may be that the league anticipates that those players will decide to go home as the pandemic unfolds and they are given more information about the dangers of the disease. Indeed, the memo states in the opening paragraphs that future restrictions imposed by the government will likely further impede the sport’s ability to operate.

The moratorium on group activities extends to the teams’ facilities in the Dominican Republic, and some of the athletes at those facilities will be sent home.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will be hosting a conference call at 12:00 ET on Monday to discuss the new further discuss the ongoing crisis. Given the speed at which the pandemic is unfolding, there will likely be new matters to consider by that time.

The end to group activities comes as some players elect to stay in camp and work out, including the entirety of the Yankees’ roster. The instructions also come the same afternoon as the news that a minor leaguer in Yankees camp has tested positive for COVID-19

Players are being sent home from spring training camps — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

In light of all the uncertainty involved at the moment, this makes a great deal of sense

Players are being sent home from spring training camps — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

This morning various team officials around baseball said that the plan was to keep spring training facilities open and for players to continue to come in, work out and train, at least at some level. After a day of meetings between the league and union officials that has changed. Players are now going home.

That’s the word from Jon Heyman, who says that an agreement has been reached between MLB and the MLBPA to that end. It’s possible, Heyman says, that some could remain, but formal workouts will not be held.

Underlying all of this, obviously, is the uncertain amount of time until play actually resumes — people inside the game are now saying that it’ll be no sooner than May — and the fact that players are concerned about their families and want to be home with them.

Given this development, it would also seem likely that before the season can begin, a second spring training will have to take place to get players back into game shape. Such mini-camps were held in the past after the resolution of work stoppages, usually lasting a week or two.

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Fearless Blue Jays keen on making a strong — and early — impression at spring training — Toronto Sun