Fans of the New York Mets did not have a full 24 hours to celebrate the club agreeing to a long-term contract with four-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor.
The Washington Nationals have confirmed that Thursday's regular-season and home opener versus the Mets has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Reports surfaced on Wednesday that at least one Washington player tested positive for the coronavirus, and it was later revealed that five players and a staff member would be out Thursday following contact tracing.
"Tonight’s scheduled game between the host Washington Nationals and the New York Mets at Nationals Park has been postponed because of ongoing contact tracing involving members of the Nationals organization," the Nationals said in a team statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, the game will not be made up on Friday. Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates as available."
ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the Nationals fear they have at least one more positive COVID-19 test within the team.
MLB health and safety protocols mandate that a player who tests positive for the coronavirus must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and ultimately has to be cleared by MLB's joint COVID-19 committee and the team physician following a cardiac evaluation and confirmation that the individual is no longer infectious to return to club activities.
The hope is the Nationals will host the Mets on Saturday, but the date for that game likely won't be confirmed until Friday at the earliest.
Like other pro leagues, MLB is not mandating that players and other personnel must receive COVID-19 vaccines to participate in the season.