Major League Baseball players need to be vaccinated against Covid-1 against, reports Arizona Republic’s Nick Pycro. This is the first example of an MLB vaccination mandate that directly affects players.
Last week, Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal MLB reported that there was an obligation to vaccinate team members who did not play so that those individuals would be allowed to enter the field during the postseason game. This requirement did not apply to players, as any vaccine for MLB players would have to agree with the Mandate Players Association. MLB can and does try to encourage vaccination among senior leaders by relaxing health and safety protocols for 85% of Tier 1 staff vaccinating teams.
The Arizona Fall League is an annual potential showcase held after the end of the Standard Minor League season. It is operated by MLB. Teams send a team of players to various minor league stages in the AFL to log in during extra play. The qualifications of the players assigned to the league are also highly variable, but it is not uncommon for at least some of the most promising prospects in the league to participate.
It is possible that some players on the MLB 400-man roster will be tabbed for Fall League action. Those players are members of the MLBPA, but Piecoro notes that the Fall League is generally considered a minor league, making it mandatory for players to be vaccinated with an MLB. This naturally raises the question of whether the MLBPA can issue a vaccination order for all approved minor leagues next season even if the MLBPA does not agree to an order at the big league level. There is currently no indication that the league has no intentions, but an executive, Picoro The Fall League Vaccine Mandate, could be a precursor to a similar move by minor linguists during next year’s spring training.