Teams can’t disclose players who have virus
Trying to find out the status of a baseball player coming back from an ankle injury will definitely be easier than learning whether someone tested positive for the coronavirus.
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said that, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), teams are not allowed to divulge the names of any player who tests positive.
“We’re allowed to talk about numbers, but we’re not allowed to give individual names,” Hoyer told ESPN. “It’s up to those individuals to decide if they want to announce it. As a group, with the media, we’re going to have some conversations about what we can talk about and what we can’t talk about. We’re not at liberty to say which injured list a player is placed on.”
The federal law restricting release of medical information without a patient’s consent or knowledge means that only players can reveal their positive test status.
Minor leagues cancel seasons
Baseball’s minor leagues canceled their seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the head of their governing body said more than half of the 160 teams were in danger of failing without government assistance or private equity injections.
The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, made the long-expected announcement.
“We are a fans-in-the-stands business. We don’t have national TV revenues,” National Association president Pat O’Conner said during a digital news conference. “There was a conversation at one point: Well, can we play without fans? And that was one of the shortest conversations in the last six months. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Ohtani to resume two-way role
Shohei Ohtani will resume his two-way career with the Angels when baseball returns. Ohtani was only a designated hitter last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He wasn’t expected to pitch in 2020 until at least May, and Angels GM Billy Eppler confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t altered the Angels’ plans.
Tigers give Torkelson record deal
No. 1 overall draft pick Spencer Torkelson and the Tigers agreed to a minor-league contract, and the team said the infielder will join its player pool for this abbreviated season. The signing bonus included with the deal, according to MLB.com, is a record $8,416,300.
A’s send Mateo to Padres
The Padres acquired speedy middle infielder Jorge Mateo from the Athletics in the first trade since the roster freeze was lifted last week.