Yankees vote unanimously to stay in Tampa

March 14th, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees' players voted unanimously to remain in Florida and hold informal workouts at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex while awaiting Major League Baseball's decision regarding the resumption of play, player representative confirmed on Friday evening.

That vote was held on Friday at Steinbrenner Field, following general manager Brian Cashman's participation on a conference call with all 30 GMs. Players across the league were told that they could return to their homes or to their home Major League cities, but the Yankees have decided that they will stick the coronavirus shutdown out as a team.

"We have a shot at a World Series title," Britton told MLB.com. "We want to be prepared to seize that opportunity. Guys aren't panicking about this thing. We understand that it's serious, but the Yankees have a ton of resources in the area. We feel like this is a good place for us to be."

Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman addressed the players on Thursday afternoon, following Cashman's participation on a conference call with all 30 GMs in which updated spring guidelines were laid out. Steinbrenner pledged that the facility would be accessible if any players want to use it, an invitation that was accepted wholeheartedly.

"The players have been fantastic," Cashman said. "There's no script here that we can all fall back on and rely upon. I think there's a recognition of that there's a lot of unknowns, so there's a lot of really cool conversations about suggestions. There's a lot of collaboration. We've tried to map out the best next steps and we all recognize it's going to take a lot of give and take, with understanding and compassion and empathy along the way."

Cashman and manager Aaron Boone said that they plan to remain in the Tampa area, along with the Yanks' training staff and conditioning staff. Britton said that the team plans to hold its first workout at Steinbrenner Field on Saturday. Activities will include hitting in the indoor batting cages, throwing from the bullpen mounds and strength work in the gymnasium, plus time in the trainers' room and with team medical staff, if necessary.

"This is going to be something that changes on a daily basis and hopefully becomes more clear as we move along," Boone said. "For right now, they'll be able to work in the cage, the weight room, the training staff providing service they need … we'll be here to support that. Each and every day is going to be a little bit different as more and more information rolls in. I just think of the last 48 hours and how much it's changed. I would expect it to be similar moving forward."

To ensure the safety of all uniformed personnel, the Yankees have had two cleaning sweeps conducted in their clubhouse over the past week, with an outside service spraying a bleach-type mist through all player areas.

Cashman said that it will be left up to the players to decide when to come and go from the complex, and that some could travel home, then return to the ballpark. Cashman added that Minor League players are being given the same options.

"It's going to be pretty much whatever guys want to do right now," Britton said. "Obviously hitters will keep hitting during BP and stuff like that. As of right now, we don't have any intrasquad or sim games. It's going be very similar to an offseason program where pitchers are playing catch in bullpens, hitters hit in the cage and take BP on the field. They're still hashing out an organized schedule so that we're not just doing whatever."