So many negatives has never seemed so positive for the Mets.
The team released a statement Saturday night saying two rounds of COVID-19 tests taken by the traveling party from New York to Miami late in the week have all returned negative. In addition, tests for all close contacts that remained in Miami were negative.
The tests on the traveling party were conducted Thursday night and Friday morning at Citi Field, after a position player and coach tested positive for the coronavirus in Miami, forcing four straight days of postponements for the Mets — including the weekend Subway Series against the Yankees. The player and coach who tested positive remained in quarantine in Miami.
“The entire Mets traveling party will continue to be tested daily and remain in self isolation,” the statement said. “We will await further scheduling information from MLB and continue to provide updates when available.”
If further positives aren’t detected within the next day, it’s conceivable the Mets could work out Monday, a day before their regularly scheduled series against the Marlins at Citi Field is slated to begin.
The Reds recently had a player test positive for the coronavirus and had three games postponed over four days. On the more extreme end, the Cardinals continued to receive additional positive tests after an initial outbreak and went two weeks without playing.
One possibility that seems unlikely is the Mets and Yankees playing on Monday’s mutual off day. Yankees manager Aaron Boone indicated Saturday he wasn’t expecting Subway Series action on Monday, the day before his team begins a series in Atlanta. The Yankees and Mets are scheduled to play three games in The Bronx next weekend, but doubleheaders could be added as needed. The teams also have mutual days off on Sept. 3 and 14.
In addition to rescheduling the Subway Series games, the Mets must find a makeup date for their postponement last Thursday in Miami. The Mets and Marlins are scheduled for a three-game series this week, but a doubleheader could be added given that the teams won’t meet again in the regular season.
The Mets could ideally use Monday as a workout day, as players have not been allowed to use Citi Field this weekend. The Mets last played on Wednesday in Miami, winning 5-3 after Michael Conforto homered in the ninth for the go-ahead runs. A day later, with Seth Lugo ready to enter the starting rotation, the Mets were notified about an hour before the scheduled first pitch of the positive test results.
After consulting with medical personnel and MLB, the Mets decided to fly home from Miami rather than check into a new hotel in a city that has been a coronavirus epicenter. The Mets flew home on a bigger jet than normal, in assigned seats that were socially distanced. During the flight, players and staff were prohibited from removing their masks, even for food and drink.
After arriving back to Citi Field, the entire traveling party was tested. The player and coach who tested positive, along with anybody determined to be in direct contact with either one, remained in Miami to quarantine. Players and coaches returned to Citi Field on Friday for further testing. The additional tests were performed Saturday.