A player in the New York Yankees minor league system has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first professional baseball player confirmed to have contracted the disease that is spreading worldwide.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan:
The player, who did not spend any time on the major league side of the Yankees’ spring-training facility in Tampa, Florida, was isolated Friday after he developed a fever, according to a team spokesman.
On Sunday morning, Yankees player development director Kevin Reese texted minor league players informing them of the positive test, according to a copy of the text obtained by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel. The text said the player is recovering well and that the organization is in contact with department of health officials to figure out the next steps. The Yankees’ staff will participate in a conference call to discuss plans at some point Sunday, a source told ESPN’s Marly Rivera.
The Yankees were among the teams whose major league players had resolved to stay in camp amid the coronavirus outbreak. Major League Baseball in a memo Sunday said major league players would be allowed to stay in camps ‘but we anticipate that may change in the coming days as events continue to unfold and players become better educated about current conditions.’
The Yankees have responded by putting their entire minor league system in quarantine:
Starting today, all #Yankees minor leaguers will be quarantined for two weeks, sources tell me and @LindseyAdler. Food will be delivered to them at their hotel rooms. Team learned earlier that a NYY minor leaguer tested positive for COVID-19.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 15, 2020
The Yankees minor leaguer becomes the fifth professional athlete in a major American sports league known to have contracted the virus. In the NBA, Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have contracted the virus, along with the Pistons’ Christian Wood. In addition, an unnamed XFL player has also contracted the virus.
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