Yankees, Mets to Resume Spring Training in New York

Max Goodman

From a consideration to a reality.

After an influx of COVID-19 cases among players and staff at big-league facilities in Florida, both the New York Yankees and Mets will be heading up north to their home state to resume training. 

New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Saturday morning with a tweet, explaining that the state "will review the teams' plans to make sure the trainings are safe."

Later in the afternoon, the Yankees released the following statement to make it official.

As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon, the New York Yankees will hold a potential spring training resumption at Yankee Stadium. We will continue to follow Major League Baseball’s guidelines and protocols, and we will vigilantly work with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and their health authorities, as well as with federal officials and Major League Baseball’s own medical and infectious disease experts, to ensure our facility maintains the best possible safety standards.

The health and safety of our players, staff and employees, and of their respectively families, will always be our top priority.

Several members of the Yankees roster had been frequenting George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa since MLB suspended Spring Training and indefinitely postponed the regular season back in early-March. 

Although a date for the resumption of baseball activity is still unclear – as negotiations between the league and MLBPA continue to deteriorate – should a second edition of Spring Training eventually begin, it will take place in New York City. 

Major League Baseball elected to close all Spring Training facilities in Florida and Arizona on Friday after multiple teams announced players had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, as first reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

READ: Negotiations Aside, COVID-19 May Inevitably Shut Down Season Before It Starts

At Phillies' camp in Clearwater, Fla., eight personnel – including five players – tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in a prompt closure of the club's facility. Nearby in Dunedin, a player on the Blue Jays exhibited symptoms of the virus, influencing a similar step as the organization closed its doors as well.

Both Philadelphia and Toronto's complexes are within an hour's drive of the Yankees' facility in Tampa.

Similarly, on Florida's east coast, the Houston Astros shut down its facility in West Palm Beach on Friday after a player tested positive for the virus. The Mets complex is just up the road in Port St. Lucie.

In hopes of preventing further infiltration of the virus into Major League Baseball, once facilities are disinfected and eventually reopened, a negative COVID-19 test will be required in order for entry.

As recently as late last month, the Yankees had planned to return to Tampa for a second round of Spring Training. 

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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