MLB Has Yet To Submit Plan Needed To Play In Canada

MLB Close Training Facilities Following Positive COVID-19 Tests

Canada open to MLB in Toronto but MLB has not submitted plan

South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin isn't among multiple members of the Toronto Blue Jays who have reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a source close to the player said Thursday.

The Jays had cut short their spring training practice in Dunedin last Friday after one of the players had shown potential COVID-19 symptoms.

Major League Baseball made a decision to shut down all Spring Training facilities in Florida and Arizona on Saturday after five Philadelphia Phillies and one Houston Astros player tested positive.

The league is pushing forward with a plan to implement a 60-game schedule beginning in late July, despite complications from the COVID-19 pandemic already looking like barriers for some teams - the Toronto Blue Jays in particular. Most teams intend to work out in their regular-season ballparks.

Anyone entering Canada for non-essential reasons must quarantine for 14 days, and the U.S.

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Amid the uncertainty, the Blue Jays have asked the Canadian government for permission to cross the border and play home games in Toronto. A message left with the team was not immediately returned.

On Tuesday, the Canadian government said it was open to MLB playing in Toronto this summer, but the league had not submitted the required plan to health authorities.

"The resumption of activities in Canada must be undertaken in adherence to Canada's plan to mitigate the importation and spread of Covid-19", said Anna Maddison, spokesman for the Public Health Agency of Canada, to the Associated Press.

Major League Baseball must get approval from the government as well as health authorities on Ontario.

At least seven players on the Philadelphia Phillies have also tested positive for the disease and one player on the Colorado Rockies.

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While some positive cases were expected in pro sports now that athlete testing has ramped up and more sports are returning, anxiety has been heightened of late due to a rise in cases throughout parts of the United States.

Federal and local health authorities in Canada have approved a plan for the National Hockey League to play in either Toronto, Edmonton, Alberta, or Vancouver, British Columbia, but the plan does not involve travel back and forth between the USA and Canada.

The Blue Jays finished the 2019 season with a 67-95 record.

In the worst-case scenario, the Operations Manual grants Major League Baseball the right during the season to relocate teams to "neutral sites, spring training sites, or other clubs' home ballparks ... for health/safety reasons, to comply with governmental restrictions, or to complete the schedule".

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