Unvaccinated baseball players won't get paid for missed games in Toronto
When the Yankees travel to Toronto for a May 2-4 series against the Blue Jays, they could find themselves doing so without unvaccinated players and employees.
Canada currently has a vaccine mandate for those who wish to cross its borders, and Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement requires unvaccinated players to be placed on a restricted list in this scenario, without being paid or accruing service time.
The Yankees reached the 85% threshold for vaccinations last season, allowing for eased restrictions, according to MLB’s COVID-19 protocols. But a number of players did not get the vaccine, and it is unclear if their status has changed this offseason.
Sportsnet reported that a "few teams" took "serious issue" with this element of the CBA, and the Players Association didn’t present any alternatives Friday when asked about the ruling.
"It’s a concern," union chief Tony Clark said. "I think as everyone knows, we appreciate and respect the decisions that are made, particularly in regard to player health and community health. But that is an issue as one in the pandemic itself that we’re navigating domestically that we’re going to continue to have to try to work through here."
As for the Mets and Yankees in New York, where a vaccine mandate for employees in the private sector exists, MLB believes unvaccinated players will be eligible, according to a source. There also is the possibility that the city will lift that restriction by the time the season opens. The Yankees will open the season at home on April 7. The Mets, who failed to reach the 85% vaccination threshold last season, don’t return to Citi Field until April 15.