Yankees' Aroldis Chapman Tests Positive for COVID-19

Max Goodman

As the Yankees enter the club's second week of Summer Camp workouts, the count of players that have tested positive for COVID-19 has increased to three.

Skipper Aaron Boone revealed Saturday that Yankees' closer Aroldis Chapman is the latest to receive a positive diagnosis for the virus. He has mild symptoms but is doing well.

Chapman joins second baseman DJ LeMahieu and reliever Luis Cessa as the members of the organization who have contracted the virus since Summer Camp began. Unlike LeMahieu and Cessa, however, Chapman had been working out with his teammates over the last few days.

READ: DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa test positive for the coronavirus

Boone confirmed that the left-hander is not present at Yankees camp anymore and won't return "for the foreseeable future."

"This virus does not discriminate. It can get to anyone at any point," Boone said. "So it's obviously just another reminder that we have to be vigilant, as far as wearing our masks when possible, the distance, the decisions we're making away from the field to as best we can stay out of harm's way."

On Tuesday, Chapman spoke to the media for the first time since the conclusion of MLB's coronavirus-induced hiatus. As he began to transition into playing in a pandemic, Chapman explained that his biggest worry was keeping his family safe while balancing his focus on helping his team win.

"It's a real situation out there, a worldwide issue that everybody is having to go through," Chapman said through an interpreter. "The biggest thing is my family. We're worried about my family and about my kids. You want everybody to be safe. 

"At the same time, once I step onto the field I have to put everything aside, forget about anything that can distract me. Just focus on doing my job and get the job done."

Boone wasn't sure if Tuesday was the final day Chapman was training with his teammates. The closer had yet to participate in any of the Yankees' intrasquad games but had thrown in the bullpen and spent time in New York's clubhouse. 

"At this point I feel like we're following all protocols," Boone said. "We have not had any other positive tests. We've adhered to all the contact tracing things. So, we feel like we've handled it and are are handling it."

From a baseball perspective, New York may start the season without its closer, one of the best at the position in the game. Chapman saved 37 games in 2019, winning the American League Reliever of the Year Award.

There's no guarantee he won't be available for Opening Day, scheduled to take place in less than two weeks, but Boone is doing his best to roll with the punches and work as an organization to limit the internal spread of the virus.

"I'm kind of trying to prepare myself every day to handle any news," he said. "We've gotten a lot of news along the way and within the organization if we have a positive test, you just try and deal with it as best you can kind of as a family. Constantly just reminding one another to make sure we're taking smart steps to limit our exposure."

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