MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins will not have access to their full roster later this week when they travel to Toronto to play a three-game series against the Blue Jays from June 3-5.
Due to Canadian federal regulations, players who haven't received a full COVID-19 vaccine are unable to enter the country and play games. General manager Derek Falvey revealed on Sunday that the team has “a few” players on the current roster who are not vaccinated and thus will not be able to travel with the team.
Falvey declined to name specific players or give a specific number who will be unable to travel.
“I’m not trying to be coy about it,” Falvey said. “The reason is we’ve had some injured guys and we know the status of everyone in Triple-A. We know the status of everyone in the Major Leagues. So, until we get to that moment where we have to go through that, just out of respect to them, we’re probably not going to announce anything until we get to Thursday, because anything can happen between now and then."
The team is prepping a taxi squad of players who will join the Twins while they are in Detroit for five games over the course of the next four days, Falvey said. At the conclusion of that series, those players will officially join the roster and travel with the team to Canada.
The unvaccinated players will then move to the restricted list and return to Minneapolis to work out at Target Field, Falvey said. Per MLB rules, those unvaccinated players are not allowed to play in Triple-A while on the restricted list, and they will also not be paid or accumulate service time.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said it’s always disappointing when the team is without the full group.
“We’re going to win more games with the full group and I think that’s an obvious statement, but we’ll adjust just like we do when guys get injured, just like every other thing we have to work around. I think we are fine,” Baldelli said.
Falvey reiterated that sentiment.
“I’ve had some conversations with individuals," Falvey said. "Some players have said, ‘I’m sorry.’ To some degree, ‘I’m sorry this is part of the equation. It’s not about the team. It’s not about us. It’s not about any of us here obviously.’ I appreciated them saying that, but we’ve got to try and figure out a way to get through it.”
Falvey said if the Twins end up playing the Blue Jays in the playoffs that some players have told him they would consider getting vaccinated so they could play.
There was no full team meeting to discuss the situation, Baldelli said, adding that he spoke with the unvaccinated players and several of the team’s leaders, who then went through the clubhouse and talked with teammates about what’s going on.
“That’s the way that we handle it and I think it can be helpful,” Baldelli said.