Unvaccinated MLB players won't be paid for missed games in Canada

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark discusses Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith's recent report about players unvaccinated against COVID-19 potentially being unable to play in Canada due to current border restrictions. Courtesy: MLBPA/MLB Network

With the Major League Baseball season set to start, unvaccinated players will once again need to sit out series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Players who haven't been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be able to play in Toronto.

In addition, unvaccinated players won't be paid for games or service time for the entirety of a series played north of the border. Each day spent on a baseball club's active roster or injured list represents one day of service time.

Current vaccination guidelines still doesn't allow foreign unvaccinated travellers to cross the Canadian border. Athletes no longer have special status in order to travel without having taken the vaccine after the federal government revoked the exemption on Jan. 15.

Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reports the subject was "a significant point" in players' CBA discussions with "a few teams" taking issue before ultimately relenting.

Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports the Jays and the other AL East teams are most affected by the news from a player personnel standpoint. With the season finally getting the green light on Thursday, free agency has opened, leaving teams scrambling to negotiate with baseball's top free agents.

Davidi added that 88 per cent of tier one individuals in MLB were fully vaccinated by the end of the 2021 playoffs.

Players union boss Tony Clark acknowledges the situation is not ideal.

``It's a concern,'' Clark said . ``I think as everyone knows -- appreciate and respect the decisions that are made, particularly in regard to player health and community health. But that is an issue, as one in the pandemic itself, that we're navigating domestically, that we're going to have to continue to try to work through here moving forward.''

-- With files from The Associated Press.

When submitting content, please abide by our  submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.
We use cookies to improve your experience. Learn More or change your cookie preferences. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.