One player on the Mets’ 40-man roster and an unspecified number of minor-leaguers have tested positive for COVID-19, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday.
He did not identify any of those players but said he considered the Mets lucky that the global pandemic has not reached the roster in a significant way.
“Well, I don’t want to get into the specifics of it, but he’s tested positive, he is recovering and we feel like he’s in a good position but we’ll wait and see once we get everybody here in camp,” Van Wagenen said.
“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. We feel fortunate. 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.”More positive cases might be discovered in the coming days. As part of baseball’s restart, all players and coaches — among other staff members — are being tested for COVID-19 and its antibodies as they report to camp.
The minor-leaguers who contracted COVID-19 were not working out at the team’s facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida.Van Wagenen said he does not expect anybody to opt out of the season because of the coronavirus. Players have that ability — and can collect their salary and service time if they are considered high risk — and some players are doing so. That includes Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross of the Nationals and Mike Leake of the Diamondbacks.
“[The Mets] anticipate everybody reporting to camp,” Van Wagenen said. “We want to support them and make sure they feel safe and that they’re in an environment where they can be healthy through the course of the year.”
The staff could be a different story. The Mets are not sure that all of their coaches will participate in the season, Van Wagenen said.
“Some of our coaching staff would fall into that [high-risk] category, both at the player development level and at the major league level, so we've continued that communication,” he said. “We don't have full clarity on if all of our coaches will be here, but we anticipate having that clarity by the time we open up on Friday.”