Updated 9:10 p.m.: MLB and the Players Association have reportedly reached an agreement to play the season.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another Phillies player and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the team’s spring training facility in Clearwater. Additionally, a second player tested positive outside of the facility.
So that makes seven players and five staffers who have tested positive.
Meanwhile, it looks like we will have a baseball season.
On Monday, the MLB Players Association rejected the owner’s final offer to play this year.
However, Phillies fans will likely still see baseball from afar.
The owners and commissioner Rob Manfred appear prepared to get the season underway which, according to the collective bargaining agreement, they can implement.
Phillies beat reporter Todd Zolecki discussed what this means for baseball in Philadelphia.
“I think if everything goes as planned, as scheduled, the Phillies will have spring training for a few weeks at Citizens Bank Park, maybe even workouts at FDR Park across the street just for social distancing purposes,” he said.
Here are some of the details we know.
The league would like teams to report to their home ballparks by July 1, just over one week from now. So it’s here in South Philly that the Phillies would begin their second spring training.
MLB owners are awaiting the union to sign off on health protocols amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last week, the Phillies announced that five players and three staffers tested positive for the coronavirus at their spring facility in Clearwater.
If the league has its way, games will begin on July 24 and 60 games will be played in 66 days, with the regular season wrapping up in late September.
But amid the coronavirus, would some Phillies players say thanks, but no thanks? Matt Gelb of The Athletic says it’s possible.
“Specifically, guys who have high risk or at-risk family members, there are a few guys who have young children. There are players whose wives are pregnant right now and for some of these guys they’re going to have to make a tough decision,” Gelb said.
If they do get back on the field, how will it look?
“There’s going to be a designated hitter most likely in the NL for the first time ever and that actually benefits the Phillies a little bit. They have a couple of different guys who can be the DH — Jay Bruce for one,” Gelb said. “The biggest thing we’ll see is bigger pitching staffs and less innings from the starters.”
And Zolecki says in the end baseball may have done some lasting damage to the sport.
“It was just a great opportunity wasted and you just wonder how much this is going to affect fan interest down the road. There’s going to be more labor disputes in the near future. Not a great time for Major League Baseball,” he said.
However, with the presence of COVID, its anyone’s guess as to whether or not the Phillies and 29 other teams will be able to get through the 2020 schedule.