Major League Baseball is for the vaccine, but it isn’t for the right of its minor leaguers to choose whether to get it.
MLB is set to require vaccinations for all players taking part in the Arizona Fall League, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.
This follows a report from The Athletic that said all non-players in the Arizona League will also be required to be vaccinated.
“Diamondbacks farm director Josh Barfield declined to comment on if the mandate affected the contingent of prospects his organization was planning to send,” Piecoro wrote. “A high-ranking executive said that of the seven players in his organization who were set to participate, one agreed to get vaccinated in order to play.”
Vaccine mandates at the MLB level would need to be negotiated between the league and players’ union, but that is not the case with minor leaguers.
Much like the NBA, MLB is forcing vaccinations where it can. It hasn’t been able to force vaccines on the big leaguers, so it has turned its sights on a more vulnerable target: minor leaguers.
As a result, the league looks quite hypocritical. Vaccines are either necessary, or they aren’t. And if they’re necessary, and the players don’t agree to it, then you force a lockdown. Otherwise, none of it should be considered necessary. Mandate for everyone … or no one.
“To be honest, I think this is a precursor to next spring training,” the executive told Piecoro. “They’re going to see what the pushback is and then we’ll have to figure it out from there. That’s my guess.”