Following new guidelines issued by MLB on Sunday amid the growing national coronavirus emergency, the Rangers are shutting down most Spring Training operations in Arizona and most players and staff are traveling home, general manager Jon Daniels said.
“Things are pretty fluid with the emergency overall, so we’re trying to respond to that as responsibly we can,” Daniels said. “We met with our players today -- we originally planned to have an off-day today, and then we talked about previously a limited workout tomorrow and then preparing to go back to Texas. After consultation with MLB and medical experts and everyone else, we are effectively closing our camp today.”
Daniels said no Rangers players have exhibited symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to this point.
Daniels said approximately 15 to 20 players on the Major League roster were flying or driving back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with fewer than 10 players remaining in Arizona. Most of the players coming back to DFW have residences in the area.
“Everyone understands it is what it is -- that as much as we would like to be able to continue to build on a lot of the good things that we had going on, baseball right now is clearly secondary,” Daniels said. “We’re all getting the same information publicly and everybody understands the significance of the situation. … They get it. It’s not what anybody wants, but it’s the right thing to do and it’s what we need to do right now. We’re going to stay in touch.”
The Rangers will maintain a small staff at their facilities in Surprise, Ariz., mostly Minor League coaches and a few training and conditioning staff. MLB strongly discouraged organized team workouts and activities Sunday, but players on 40-man rosters are still allowed to work out at the facilities.
Some 20 to 30 Minor League players, primarily from Venezuela, are staying at Rangers Village near their facility, and the club will try to provide for meals and educate the players on best practices for social distancing, Daniels said.