MLB, union still discussing whether to disclose players’ coronavirus cases

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MLB, union still discussing whether to disclose players’ coronavirus cases

MLB and the Players Association continue to discuss just what the teams can announce — or not — about players who are placed on the COVID-19

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MLB and the Players Association continue to discuss just what the teams can announce — or not — about players who are placed on the COVID-19 Related Injured List.

A player does not have to test positive to be placed on this newly created list. An evaluation by medical personnel or exposure to those who have coronavirus could lead to being placed on the COVID List. Teams are expected to test personnel that will be involved in spring training 2.0 Wednesday and Thursday and then every two days thereafter.

In negotiations with MLB, the union has historically accentuated players’ right to privacy. Thus, it is possible that players who are on the COVID List will just be announced as being on the Injured List and it will be up to individual players whether to disclose the reason.

As part of the Basic Agreement, clubs are allowed for public relations purposes to disclose about employment-related injuries: 1) the nature of the injury, 2) a prognosis and projected absence, 3) the type of treatment/surgery undertaken. So that is why you traditionally hear something from the team such as John Doe suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, rehab with no surgery was recommended.

For any other medical conditions that keep a player from rendering services, teams can only disclose that a medical condition is preventing a player from playing and how long the player is expected to be absent. The new COVID list seemingly falls under this category if the Basic Agreement is used as a guideline, unless MLB and the union negotiate otherwise.

MLB and the union also continue to discuss whether there will be a broad public accounting of tests conducted and positive results for COVID-19.

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