Lone Met tests positive; Melky added to squad
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.”