MLB determining whether Marlins will be paid for postponed games as it investigates COVID-19 outbrea
Major League Baseball has opened an investigation involving the Miami Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak, trying to determine the cause of 16 players and two coaches testing positive and forcing the shutdown of their season for a week, a high-ranking person with direct knowledge of the investigation told USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak publicly.
A 16th player tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
MLB has yet to determine whether the Marlins players will be paid for the postponed games if they are unable to play every game in the 60-game season, but will pay the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Washington Nationals for games missed because of the Marlins’ outbreak. The Yankees and Phillies had their two-game series cancelled for precautionary reasons because the Marlins were in Philadelphia using the visiting clubhouse. The Nats’ weekend series in Miami was cancelled with the Marlins being isolated until at least Monday.
The March 26 agreement states that players will receive prorated pay only for the number of games their teams play, but MLB made an exception for the Nats, Phillies and Yankees since they weren’t responsible for the postponed games.
MLB will delay making any decision on the Marlins until it’s known how many games will be missed, and whether any health and safety protocols were violated.
“The difficult circumstances of one club reinforce the vital need to be diligent with the protocols in all ways, both on and off the field,” MLB said in a statement Monday. “We will continue to bolster our protocols and make any necessary adjustments. The realities of the virus still loom large, and we must operate with that in mind every day.”
The Marlins, who remained quarantined in Philadelphia, still remain the only team who have had any players test positive since last Thursday when the outbreak started.
There was conjecture among Marlins’ players they may have been infected by an umpire or flight attendant who was COVID-19 positive, but the official said the umpire and attendant had only false positive test results, and are cleared.
The Phillies and Yankees players voiced frustration that their two-game series was postponed, with no positive tests, while the Nats’ players voted not to travel to Miami this weekend before MLB’s decision to suspend the Marlins’ season for a week.
“There's obviously a lot of concerns,” Nats manager Davey Martinez said Monday. “I talk about this, not only do we have to compete on the field but it's almost like we've got to compete off the field, too. We have to follow all the protocols.
“I'm constantly on the players to wear masks, washing hands. We're doing all these things to try to stay safe. But it's tough. We're in tough times. We're trying to play through a pandemic.
“What happened to the Marlins, I don't wish that on anybody. But it happened and it's real.’’
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