The Miami Marlins, after an 18th player tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, are getting multiple sleeper buses to take infected players and coaches from Philadelphia to Miami, sources told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers on Friday.
In all, the Marlins have had 21 members of the organization test positive over the past week, according to the latest COVID-19 test results released by MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
All games for the team have been postponed through Sunday by Major League Baseball.
El Extra Base was the first to report the new positive test on Friday.
None of the Marlins who have tested positive have shown serious symptoms, a source told The Associated Press on Friday. Officials, however, were concerned that the latest positive test result came five days after the team was last together and played its most recent game.
While the players and coaches with the coronavirus are being transported to Miami, the rest of the team will remain in Philadelphia, where the Marlins played last weekend and have been undergoing daily testing.
The prospect of the team’s season restarting Tuesday at home against the Phillies remains in question.
If the Marlins play that series in Philadelphia, they could bus to New York to face the Mets, then bus to Buffalo, New York, where the Blue Jays plan to play their home games this season. In that scenario, the Marlins would not return home until a series scheduled to begin Aug. 14 against Atlanta, though Miami-Dade County currently requires a 14-day quarantine for people coming into the area from New York, further complicating matters.
Miami could make up the three games against Washington that have been postponed this weekend by scheduling two doubleheaders during future series and playing on their shared Sept. 17 off day. How to make up the four lost games against Baltimore, an interleague opponent, could prove tricky, leading to the possibility the Marlins won’t play a full 60-game schedule.
The Marlins are assessing how to fill out a roster with a combination of players: those already in the organization and training at its alternate site in Jupiter, Florida; free agents; and waiver-wire claims.
Early Saturday morning, it was announced that the Marlins acquired left-handed reliever Richard Bleier from the Orioles in exchange for a player to be named.
Bleier, 33, has given up one hit and struck out four without allowing a run in three innings over two relief appearances this season.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.