The effects of COVID haven’t completely evaporated from Major League Baseball. And the Texas Rangers are about to be the first team to experience the remnants.
The Rangers play their first series in Toronto. Canadian law prohibits anyone who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 from entering the country.
Which means, no vaccine, no playing in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
Unvaccinated players will be placed on the restricted list when their team plays against the Blue Jays. Not only will they not be allowed to play, they will not be paid for those games.
It’s part of Canada’s restriction on unvaccinated foreign nations. Players are, of course, upset by this. Not the missing of games. The missing of pay. That issue was brought up during the lockout but there were much more important issues at hand. Like, actually having a season.
So, while the Rangers are working hard to assemble their opening day roster, one very real factor is not whether a player can play in the big leagues. It’s whether he can play in Cananda.