Coronavirus: How MLB teams are handling delay as league reportedly meets with MLBPA to talk next steps


MLB recently shut down spring training in Arizona and Florida and announced the delay of Opening Day because of the growing threat from novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which was recently declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. The road ahead is uncertain, but we already know that Opening Day, which was originally scheduled for March 26, will take place no sooner than April 9. 

As of Friday afternoon, MLB players are still at or near their respective spring training sites, but that could change soon. Here are some updates at the team and league levels on what the near-term future is looking like for the sport. 

  • ESPN’s Jeff Passan hears from multiple MLB sources that games aren’t likely to be played before May. 
  • Per Jon Heyman, MLB and the Players’ Association (MLBPA) are meeting into the coming weekend to determine the next steps. While some teams are taking their own measures, the league could provide top-down guidance or even mandates for what’s to be done at Cactus and Grapefruit League sites and how the league’s financial losses will be handled and absorbed. Also per Heyman, the league has already instructed teams to undertake a thorough cleaning of their spring facilities. 
  • According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, scouts in Arizona and Florida have been instructed to return home.

Now for updates from some of the teams that have provided them. 

Atlanta Braves

On Friday morning, GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters that the Braves have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the MLB or minor-league level. Anthopoulos also said that the Braves plan to reconvene on Monday to continue workouts. Players are being asked to remain in camp but may be allowed to return home should personal circumstances warrant.

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs on Friday announced that they’ve canceled all team activities until Tuesday. They’re also undertaking a deep cleaning of all spring training facilities. “This cleanse was conducted as a precautionary measure and not as a reaction to any suspicion of coronavirus illness by anyone who has worked within the facility,” the team said in a statement.

Adam Hoge tweets that all major Chicago professional sports teams have agreed to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzger’s request that fans be barred from attending any home games until at least May 1. 

Chicago White Sox

As noted above, Adam Hoge tweets that all major Chicago professional sports teams have agreed to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzger’s request that fans be barred from attending any home games until at least May 1. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

According to MLB.com, the Dodgers’ spring facilities will remain open for optional player workouts. Manager Dave Roberts said on Thursday that no Dodgers players or staff had been tested for the virus.

Milwaukee Brewers

According to MLB.com, the Brewers will hold an optional player workout on Friday. Players will be off on Saturday and Sunday and report back for a scheduled workout on Monday morning.

Minnesota Twins

According to MLB.com, Twins players will remain near camp. Friday will be an off day, and players will return to the facilities on Saturday for further instruction. 

New York Mets

According to MLB.com, Thursday was a scheduled off day for Mets players, but players were expected to be back in camp on Friday.

New York Yankees

According to MLB.com, manager Aaron Boone said late Thursday that his understanding is that Yankee players will remain in the vicinity and continue workouts while awaiting guidance from the league.

Philadelphia Phillies

Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies held a team meeting and instructed players to leave the facilities and return on Sunday.

St. Louis Cardinals

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that the Cardinals on Friday opened their weight room and training room for players on an optional basis. The team will not conduct any baseball activities on Friday. Players have been asked to remain in the area pending further instruction from the league and union. 


Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illnesses as minor as a cold, or as serious as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to the World Health Organization. The virus can cause symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But while some patients only show mild symptoms and recover, others have developed life-threatening complications, such as pneumonia, CBS News reports. 

Here at CBS Sports we have a running updates on how sports leagues are responding to coronavirus. 

CBS Sports will provide updates to this story as necessary. 





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