Should the Yankees’ minor leaguers return home, especially if that home is in a coronavirus hot spot? Should they hit and throw or rest? What about the apartments they had already rented through the end of spring training? Could they be asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus and put family members, such as grandparents, back home at risk?
“I really don’t know what to expect,” Agnos said. “I’m kind of nervous. You don’t want to come home and not have any symptoms, and then have it and pass it along.”
Some players have no choice but to stay put. The second Yankees minor leaguer who tested positive after the quarantine began will remain isolated a bit longer. And because of insecurity or travel restrictions in their home countries, Yankees minor leaguers from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic are expected to remain in Tampa.
For minor leaguers across the sport, money is always a factor. They generally earn anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000 a season. M.L.B. said last week that it would discuss how to compensate players after April 9, the original start date for the minor league season. In the meantime, some Yankees minor leaguers may need to return home to work side gigs.
“The thing is we’ve just been used to this lifestyle, so it’s nothing new,” said Burt, 23, who signed for $5,000 after the Yankees picked him in the 28th round of the 2018 draft. He added: “You grind and don’t live great and don’t have the best living conditions until you hopefully end up making the big leagues and everything gets better.”
Burt was unsure on Friday if he would return home to Boston or link up with other minor leaguers in Florida to continue working out. Ernst, a 15th-round pick in 2018, hoped to remain in Tampa. Aside from one trip to the grocery store, he said he saved everything the Yankees gave him. But if money became a problem, he could lean on his fiancée, a teacher, or resume his off-season job working at a supply company in Ohio.
“That’s going to be the main question when we get done with this quarantine: Do we go home or do we stay here and throw?” he said. “We’re trying to get a scope of when the season is going to start. It’s a guessing game.”