Yankees' minor league player tests positive for coronavirus

AFP
People take photos as closed signs and MLB news releases are displayed on box office windows outside of Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona, where the Seattle Mariners have their Spring Training headquarters (AFP Photo/Christian Petersen)
People take photos as closed signs and MLB news releases are displayed on box office windows outside of Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona, where the Seattle Mariners have their Spring Training headquarters (AFP Photo/Christian Petersen)

New York (AFP) - A New York Yankees minor league player has tested positive for the coronavirus the team said Sunday, the first known case in baseball.

The team did not identify the player in accordance with US medical privacy regulations, but said he was never present at the Florida spring training facility used by the Yankees' major league team and did not have known contact with any of the Yankees players.

"He was never here, nor anybody who would be linked to being with him," Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said.

Yankees minor leaguers train at a player development complex adjacent to gut separate from the major league complex in Tampa, Florida.

MLB has already announced it was pushing back the scheduled March 26 start of the season at least two weeks in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

They cancelled all spring training games, however, teams were deciding individually whether to continue with informal practices at their off-season facilities.

On Friday players on teams' 40-man rosters were told they could choose to stay at their team's off-season facility, travel to their team's home city or go to their off-season homes.

Yankees players voted and opted to stay in Florida and train.

The Los Angeles Times reported that MLB sent a memo to its 30 clubs on Sunday "strongly discouraging" group workouts and emphasizing social distancing to curtail the spread of COVID-19."

According to the newspaper the recommendations were issued after the minor league player tested positive.

The Times reported that the player was tested after he notified the club he had a fever on Friday morning.

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