Lone Met tests pos­i­tive; Melky added to squad

New York Daily News - - SPORTS - BY DEESHA THOSAR

One player on the Mets’ cur­rent 40-man ros­ter has tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, gen­eral man­ager Brodie Van Wa­ge­nen said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call on Mon­day. A num­ber of mi­nor lea­guers within the team’s farm sys­tem, but not cur­rently on the ros­ter, have also tested pos­i­tive.

Van Wa­ge­nen said the player who tested pos­i­tive is “re­cov­er­ing” and the team thinks he is “in a good po­si­tion.” It is un­clear whether that player will be­gin prac­tic­ing with the team this week or be placed on the newly cre­ated COVID-19 in­jured list.

Also Mon­day, the Mets added vet­eran out­fielder and for­mer Yan­kee Melky Cabr­era, as well as in­fielder Gor­don Beck­ham and RHP Hunter Strick­land. Cabr­era hit .280 with the Pi­rates last sea­son with seven home runs. Cabr­era, who played for the Yan­kees’ 2009 cham­pi­onship team, has a .285 av­er­age through 15 sea­sons. He is ex­pected to be part of the 60-player pool.

The Mets also re-signed out­fielder Ryan Cordell and RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

The team has been in­structed to ar­rive at Citi Field on Wed­nes­day, with its first full-squad work­out sched­uled for Fri­day.

“We’ve been in­cred­i­bly for­tu­nate,” Van Wa­ge­nen said. “We’ve seen and heard a lot of the re­ports from teams around the league, but we’ve been very, very for­tu­nate that we’ve only had one player on our 40-man ros­ter test pos­i­tive since this en­tire world started be­ing af­fected by it back in Fe­bru­ary. I think it’s a credit to not only the ed­u­ca­tion our play­ers re­ceived but also their best habits and best prac­tices that they’ve ex­hib­ited over the course of the last few months.”

The Mets join sev­eral other clubs to an­nounce a player or em­ployee has tested pos­i­tive for the virus. The Philies, Blue Jays, Astros, Di­a­mond­backs, In­di­ans, Rock­ies, Twins and Rangers are other known teams with pos­i­tive cases.

Ma­jor League Base­ball has re­quired each team to make its own COVID-19 “Ac­tion Plan” be­fore work­outs be­gin this week should any player test pos­i­tive. That plan must in­clude the choices a team will pro­vide to the player if he tests pos­i­tive at home or on the road. Play­ers will be tested for the virus ev­ery other day and be re­quired to take daily tem­per­ate checks.

“The pro­to­cols are fairly ex­ten­sive to pro­tect not only the in­di­vid­ual who has the virus, but also the rest of his team­mates and the coaches,” Van Wa­ge­nen said. “We’ll con­tinue to fol­low that pro­to­col out­lined by base­ball, but we’re op­ti­mistic that that player can re­turn as early as the start of camp or hope­fully soon there­after. But it’s just so hard to pre­dict with this virus.”

Play­ers around the league are ex­pected to opt out of the 2020 sea­son due to be­ing high­risk them­selves or de­clin­ing to be placed in a sit­u­a­tion that will put fam­ily mem­bers and oth­ers at risk.

Van Wa­ge­nen said so far that is not the case with the Mets. He ex­pects ev­ery player to travel to Citi Field and par­tic­i­pate in work­outs this week.

“At this point, we’ve stayed in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with our play­ers,” Van Wa­ge­nen said.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant. We need to make sure that we start with in­form­ing our play­ers of what pro­ce­dures are in place. We want to fol­low that up with help­ing them un­der­stand how to com­ply with those pro­ce­dures. And three, make sure they’re re­spect­ing each other, be­cause any­thing that hap­pens both here at the ball­park, as well as at home and on the road, is go­ing to im­pact not only what in­di­vid­u­als can ac­com­plish, but also what this team can ac­com­plish col­lec­tively.”

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