MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins will not have access to their full roster later this week when they travel to Toronto to play a three-game series against the Blue Jays June 3-5.
Due to Canadian federal regulations, players who have not received a full COVID-19 vaccine will not be able to enter the country and play games. General manager Derek Falvey revealed on Sunday that the team has “some” players on its current roster who have not been vaccinated and thus cannot travel with the team.
Falvey declined to name specific players or give a specific number who cannot travel.
“I’m not trying to hold back on it,” Falvey said. “The reason is we’ve had some injured guys and we know the status of everyone in Triple-A. We know the status of everyone in the Major Leagues. So until we get to the point where we have to go through that, just out of respect for them, we probably won’t announce anything until Thursday, because anything can happen between now and then.”
The team is preparing a taxi crew of players who will join the Twins over the next four days while they are in Detroit for five games, Falvey said. At the end of that series, those players will officially join the roster and travel to Canada with the team.
The unvaccinated players will then move to the restricted roster and return to Minneapolis to train at Target Field, Falvey said. Under MLB rules, those unvaccinated players are not allowed to play in Triple-A while on the restricted list, nor will they be paid or accumulate service time.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said it is always disappointing when the team is without the full group.
“We’re going to win more games with the full group and I think that’s an obvious statement, but we’ll adapt like we do when guys get injured, just like anything else we have to work around. I think we’re okay,” Baldelli said.
Falvey echoed that feeling.
“I’ve had some conversations with individuals,” Falvey said. “Some players have said, ‘I’m sorry.’ To some extent, “I’m sorry this is part of the equation. It’s not about the squad. It’s not about us. Obviously, this isn’t about us.” I appreciated that they said that, but we have to try and find a way to get through it.”
Falvey said that if the Twins were to face the Blue Jays in the playoffs, some players have told him they would consider getting vaccinated so they could play.
There was not a full team meeting to discuss the situation, Baldelli said, adding that he spoke to the unvaccinated players and several team leaders, who then went around the clubhouse and talked to teammates about what was going on.
“That’s the way we’re dealing with it and I think it could be helpful,” Baldelli said.