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Yankees minor leaguer tests positive for coronavirus

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[UPDATE 2:43]: Sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Lindsey Adler that all Yankees minor leaguers will be quarantined for two weeks as a precaution. Given how easily the virus can share from close contact and mutual touching of surfaces, this is obviously a prudent decision. Brian Cashman told reporters that the infected player is the only member of the organization who has been tested thus far.

[12:30]: A minor leaguer in the Yankees system has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Jeff Passan. The player was quarantined on Friday morning after coming down with a fever.

The player, who has not been named as per HIPAA, has the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in baseball. A Yankees PR person told reporters including Erik Boland that the infected player was never present at the major league side of the complex and never interacted with big league players. The team has identified and isolated those who were in close contact with him.

The Yankees spring complex was closed on Friday and Saturday, and was disinfected multiple times in the last week.

This is unfortunately just the first of what will likely be many cases around the league. Players spent all of spring training in close contact with each other, and it was only a matter of time before at least one of them contracted COVID-19. Many young people can carry the disease without displaying symptoms, so it is possible that any number of players have the virus in their systems already. This player may indeed be just the first confirmed case.

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 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.