Mets and Yankees relocating Spring Training to their home stadiums
As coronavirus cases continue their re-surge in Florida, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced on June 20 that the New York Yankees and New York Mets will be moving their MLB Spring Training to their home stadiums.
“To have spring training in New York is a really great development,” Cuomo told Newsday. “The infection rate is down low compared to other states, such as Florida.”
Additionally, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, all other MLB teams are also likely to hold their second Spring Training sessions in their home cities.
Spring Training campuses close as MLB negotiations bleakly continue
This news comes off the heels of reports that all MLB Spring Training camps will be closed for deep and thorough cleanings after several players and staff members around baseball either tested positive for COVID-19 or began to show symptoms of the disease.
Prior to the news of all 30 camps being closed, three MLB teams — the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants — were shutting down their normal Spring Training camps in Florida and Arizona. Both states are now hotbeds for coronavirus cases.
The Phillies saw five of its players and three other club employees test positive for COVID-19, forcing them to close their Clearwater, FL, Spring Training facility. Less than five miles away in Dunedin, the Blue Jays closed their camp after a player — believed to be a pitcher on the 40-man roster — started showing symptoms.
Similarly, the Giants, who host Spring Training in Scottsdale, AZ, closed their campus after someone began showing symptoms.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that there currently are no health and safety protocols in place for a return, but MLB hopes to have the sites re-opened next week and want “personnel who return to unofficial workouts at the facilities to do [a] COVID test every [two] days.”
There is no official timetable on MLB’s second 2020 Spring Training due to the ongoing negotiations between the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).
The latest negotiation reports, courtesy of Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic, state that the MLB has rejected the union’s 70-game season proposal and will go no higher than 60 games for the 2020 season. If a deal is not reached by Monday, June 22, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred may be allowed to impose a 50-game season schedule. Per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, a 54-60-game season schedule will allow the players to file a grievance.
Heyman also reports the league will reach out to the union one last time before Monday’s deadline this weekend.