Report: ‘Several’ MLB Players, Staff Members Tested Positive for the Coronavirus

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28:  A detail of baseballs is seen through netting of a basket during Game One of the 2009 MLB World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium on October 28, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Associated Press obtained a letter from MLB in which the league said “several players and staff” tested positive for the coronavirus.

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle commented on the report.

Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle @whatwouldDOOdo

Wait…they leaked information about player health to the AP? First, I hope everyone is feeling ok and recovering well. But the timing of this leak is suspicious and it feels really gross.

The 2020 season remains on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Team owners and the MLB Players Association continue to be at odds over the terms for the start of baseball this year.

News of the positive tests comes after the Los Angeles Times‘ Bill Shaikin reported MLB indicated to the players’ union it wouldn’t sign off on a season unless players agreed not to pursue any legal action against the league in the future.

The longer the situation drags on, the more likely it seems the entire 2020 campaign will be scrapped.

The players remain committed to recognizing the terms of a March agreement in which the MLBPA said 2020 salaries will be prorated based on the number of games played. Owners, meanwhile, continue to throw out offers that ultimately create the same outcome.

Mike Axisa @mikeaxisa

– 82 games at sliding scale=~33% salary

– 50 games at prorated pay=~33% salary

– 76 games at 75% prorated pay=(drumroll) ~33% salary

It all comes back to the same place. MLB keeps making the same offer in different forms.

Despite the lack of progress at the negotiating table, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN’s Karl Ravech last Wednesday he was “100 percent” sure a season will come together. His tune had changed significantly by Monday.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

BREAKING: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred tells @Espngreeny that he’s “not confident” there will be a 2020 baseball season. “Unfortunately,” Manfred said, “I can’t tell you that I’m a 100% certain that’s gonna happen.”

News at @espn:

With more states slowly opening back up amid the pandemic, American sports leagues have slowly inched their way toward a return. Both the NHL and NBA have unveiled plans to resume their respective seasons.

However, the easing of travel and business restrictions has led to an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in some states. That trend presents MLB with another difficult hurdle to clear.

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