Zack Britton
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Yankees decide to stay in Florida during spring training suspension


George A. King III reports that the Yankees unanimously voted to remain at their spring training facility in Tampa to keep working out. As we wrote earlier, the league and the MLBPA reached an agreement to allow players to go home if they desire to do so. Yet as Yankees union player rep Zack Britton tells King, the Bronx Bombers will stay in Florida.

The Yankees seem to be the first team to decide to hunker down at their spring training facility. GM Brian Cashman told reporters including Lindsey Adler that the facility has been cleaned twice this week. One imagines that could happen again unless the players, coaches and support staff are being kept under total quarantine when they’re not at work.

With the season not likely to get underway until May, it’s interesting that the Yankees decided to stay in camp for another month and a half. Spring training is already a long and arduous affair, and many players are separated from their families. That could be a source of stress during this tumultuous time.

The CDC advises people to avoid large gatherings and to engage in social distancing. Spring training doesn’t exactly meet those parameters, but again, the Yankees could be taking additional steps to keep their players and employees out of harm’s way. Something to keep an eye on for sure.

If you want to learn more about COVID-19, give the CDC’s site about the virus a read. Informing yourself is the most important first step.

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Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.