After coming to an agreement with the MLBPA, MLB is pushing its players to leave spring training and return home.
According to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post, MLB is giving players three options but is ultimately encouraging everyone to return home. Unless, of course, they’re international. The league doesn’t want players leaving the country and potentially having issues coming back.
– Stay in spring training city and receive the normal living allowances, even if you don't go to the field.
– Go to club's home city.
– Go home. But players' whose homes are out of the country are being encouraged to say in the U.S., since they could have trouble returning.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) March 13, 2020
If players don’t want to go home for whatever reason, MLB is offering alternatives. Another option is staying at the spring training facility. If they do so, they’d receive the same cost-of-living stipend they’d earn during spring training.
The last option is to return to the home city of their respective team. This would allow players to spend time in a more comfortable environment while staying close to team officials and doctors.
This is a tricky situation for MLB. There isn’t much they can do to protect its players right now. Their only option is to keep them updated and inform teams on what experts and doctors are telling them.
MLB has taken every possible precaution up to this point. They canceled play, team activities, and pushed back Opening Day. After doing all that, they’ve essentially run out of measures to exercise.
Letting players be with their families, if at all possible, was the only thing they could do. It’s nice to see that MLB has quickly taken that step.
Now the only thing left to do is stay patient until baseball starts up again, whenever that may be. Opening Day has been delayed at least two weeks, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan suggests that games likely won’t begin until May at the earliest.
Joined @GetUpESPN this morning to talk about how the distinct expectation among those in baseball — owners, players, executives, nearly everyone — is that the earliest we’re likely to see games again is May. pic.twitter.com/S4bUktlFt5
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 13, 2020