Coronavirus: Yankees players are leaving spring training after initially voting to stay

Yankees players are beginning to leave the Tampa spring training facility to return home. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told players about Major League Baseball’s new restrictions, which led to players making the decision to return to their homes. The Yankees initially voted unanimously as a team to stay at the spring training site earlier in the weekend.

The league announced the new rules in a memo sent out to all 30 MLB teams on Sunday. Non-roster players were advised to return home if possible. Players on the 40-man roster were permitted to remain at their club’s spring training site, but were told to avoid workouts with significant numbers of players.

Here’s more from Sherman regarding players’ decision to return home:

But the reality of less ability to work out in groups starting Sunday and that the season could be months rather than weeks away from restarting has shifted the thinking of many of the Yankees who do not reside in the Tampa area, the source said.

The Yankees were going to — by following the memorandum — cut back on support staff to help players at the complex and further stagger the number of players who could be at the field at one time. That defeated the purpose of being unified and staying if the team could not work out en masse, the source said.

Plus, many players were growing to believe that if, as expected, ramifications of the virus worsened in the coming days, that the complex would be shut completely and that options to get out of Tampa might be limited as well, the source said.

Yankees minor leaguer tested positive for coronavirus, with the diagnosis being announced Sunday. The unnamed player, who is in the minors, became the first known MLB-affiliated player to test positive for the virus that was recently declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. The Yankees said the player was not at the MLB team’s spring training site, but all Yankees MiLB players are being quarantined.

MLB reportedly has a scheduled conference call with teams on Monday at noon E.T. to provide further updates and perhaps additional mandates designed to control spread of the virus within affiliated baseball. 

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. 

CBS News has the latest updates about the virus, which has affected various sports globally and in the United States and has caused more than 4,200 fatalities worldwide. Here at CBS Sports we have running updates on how sports leagues are responding to coronavirus. 

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