Yankees await clarity on NYC’s COVID vaccine mandate

DUNEDIN, Fla. — With just over two weeks until the Yankees’ scheduled season opener against the Red Sox in the Bronx, it’s still not clear if their unvaccinated players will be able to play due to New York City’s COVID mandates.

And that’s why it’s still on manager Aaron Boone’s radar.

“A little bit now, but we’re dealing with it behind the scenes and it’s going to be what it is,” Boone said Tuesday after the Yankees lost 9-2 to the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark.

When asked if he could see himself going half the season without a key player or key players — or longer, depending on Canadian protocols, Boone said, “I hope not. I hope not.”

Earlier in the day, Mayor Eric Adams said he was unwilling to scrap the city’s vaccination mandate for private-sector workers – preventing New York City-based athletes from playing in the five boroughs.

“You’ll have to wait to find out what we’re going to do,” Adams said of unvaccinated professional athletes.

Aaron Boone and Yankees staffers are still awaiting clarity on NYC’s COVID vaccine mandate
Charles Wenzelberg / New YorkPos

“We’re going to do it in shifts,” Adams said of removing the mandate. “And when we feel like it’s the right time to look at it — if we do it at all — because the work environment is an important environment, we’re going to make that decision.” We’re not there yet.”

Adams said last week he would work with MLB on a “fix” to the problem. The clock is still ticking.

Marwin Gonzalez said he’s not worried about his past with the 2017 World Series champion Astros, who was found to be involved in sign stealing, which has had an impact after his spot was signed to a minor league contract affected the Yankees.

“That’s in the past,” Gonzalez said of the Houston team of 17, who defeated the Yankees in the ALCS in seven games to advance to the World Series.

When asked if he felt the need to speak to players on that Yankees team about the situation, Gonzalez said, “I’ve spoken to a lot of people during games, and we’re talking about baseball, not about it.”

Aaron Judge, a vocal critic of the 2017 Astros when the scandal broke in 2019, said he had “no issues” with the Yankees signing Gonzalez.

The 33-year-old Gonzalez, who switched between Houston and Boston last season and has struggled hard on the plate for the past two years, expects to get into his first Grapefruit League game on Thursday when he fights for a spot in the Utility fights.

The Yankees agreed on new contracts for Gleyber Torres ($6.25 million) and Kyle Higashioka ($935,000).

The Yankees selected right-hander Luis Medina to Double-A Somerset, OF Everson Pereira to High-A Hudson Valley, and right-hander Yoendrys Gomez to Low-A Tampa. Yankees await clarity on NYC’s COVID vaccine mandate


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