South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin isn't among multiple members of the Toronto Blue Jays who have reportedly tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a source close to the player said Thursday.
The source said Ryu has been tested twice for COVID-19, and both results came back negative.
"He's training without any trouble," the source told Yonhap News Agency. "Though he doesn't know where the season will start, he's trying to stay positive."
After months of delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, followed by squabbling over money between the owners and the players, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced Tuesday that the abbreviated, 60-game season will begin on July 23 or 24. Players are to report to their respective camps on July 1.
The Jays' spring training site is in Dunedin, Florida, a state that has seen an uptick in new COVID-19 cases, and many teams are considering training in their regular season home stadiums. The Philadelphia Phillies, who train in a nearby town of Clearwater, have reported several positive cases among their players and staff members this week.
Due to the pandemic, the Canada-US border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21, and people entering Canada for non-essential reasons must be quarantined for 14 days.
On Tuesday, the Canadian government said it was open to having big league baseball in Toronto this summer, and MLB has submitted a related plan to the government.
Sportsnet in Toronto reported that the Blue Jays' CEO Mark Shapiro was added to the national lobbyists' registry last week to pursue frequent contact with government officials to that end.
Ryu joined the Blue Jays last offseason on a four-year, $80 million contract, the largest free agent deal for a pitcher in Blue Jays' history. He'd spent the past seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 2019, Ryu finished second in the National League Cy Young Award voting, after posting an MLB-best 2.32 ERA. (Yonhap)