MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark Friday that if the sport doesn't improve its handling of the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan.
According to ESPN, multiple players briefed on the call fear that the season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive COVID-19 tests continue around the sport.
MLB is currently going through a COVID-19 outbreak, with 20% of the league's teams not playing Friday night after getting postponed.
In the last week, 18 Marlins players and two coaches have tested positive for the coronavirus. All Marlins games are currently postponed through Sunday.
MLB's Department of Investigations is expected to finish a report on the origins of the Marlins' COVID-19 outbreak in the next two days, according to Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci.
While MLB has no definitive answer as of Friday afternoon regarding the initial origin, Verducci reports that a source familiar with the investigation characterized the initial information as leading to “clearly a breakdown with adherence to the health and safety protocols away from the ballpark.”
In addition to Miami, the Phillies, who played the Marlins in their opening series, have been in isolation and were scheduled to resume play on Saturday with a doubleheader against the Blue Jays.
On Thursday, though, the upcoming weekend series between the Phillies and Blue Jays was postponed after two Philadelphia staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
The Yankees had four games against Philadelphia postponed and instead traveled to Baltimore for a two-day series on Wednesday and Thursday. The Orioles previously were scheduled to play the Marlins.
Friday's matchup between the Brewers and Cardinals was also postponed after two St. Louis players tested positive for COVID-19. Friday's game has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Sunday.