Giants don't expect players to forgo 2020 MLB season over coronavirus

Alex Pavlovic
NBC Sports BayArea

About an hour before Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler talked with reporters Monday, it became known that former Giants and current Diamondbacks starter Mike Leake would sit out the 2020 season.

As Zaidi and Kapler answered questions on a Zoom call, the Nationals revealed that first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and starting pitcher Joe Ross also will not be playing this year. 

It is a fear that hangs over the sport, and as organizations prepare to return to camp this Wednesday, there's a sense that those three are just the beginning. The expectation is that other players will follow and opt out of the 60-game season, but at least for now, the Giants are preparing for their full squad. 

Kapler said he connected with more than 25 players on Sunday alone and has talked to all of the club's established veterans, and there's no hint of opting out. 

"Nobody mentioned anything to me," Kapler said. "I don't anticipate having an issue there. I've talked to a great number of our players and nobody has brought that up."

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Players who are deemed high-risk can opt out because of coronavirus concerns and still be paid, but unless they have that designation they surrender their salaries and service time by opting out. That, of course, wouldn't be as much of a concern for older players who already have signed massive contracts, but most of the Giants' veterans have indicated on social media that they're heading to San Francisco or already here. 

Even if all of the players choose to come, the Giants might still have some familiar faces missing. They have a young coaching staff, but Zaidi said there are one or two cases of staffers the organization is "still working through." The Minnesota Twins announced Monday that two coaches in their sixties will not be in the dugout this season.

"We're still evaluating that," Zaidi said of staffers. "Almost all of our players and staff were considered low to moderate risk."

[RELATED: Giants, A's working on exhibition games]

The Giants will test players who have been told to arrive Wednesday and will kick off camp Friday. They do not expect any players to have issues reporting on time.

Giants don't expect players to forgo 2020 MLB season over coronavirus originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

What to Read Next