FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said Tuesday that he was vaccinated against COVID-19 during the offseason, as did second baseman Christian Arroyo.
“Yes. So get that out of here,” Bogaerts said while smiling.
Arroyo said he discussed it with people close to him first.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said.
Sports Illustrated reported that backup catcher Kevin Plawecki also agreed to get a shot after refusing last year.
Canada’s decision to rescind a waiver allowing unvaccinated professional athletes into the country without a quarantine could potentially be an issue for the Red Sox given the 10 games they have scheduled in Toronto this season.
The status of lefthanders Chris Sale and Josh Taylor is not yet known, but manager Alex Cora expressed confidence the Sox would not face adverse effects.
“We keep talking to guys and things change. We should be OK,” Cora said. “We’re going to be OK.”
Bogaerts said he would encourage any unvaccinated teammates to get a shot.
The first game in Toronto is April 25. To be considered in compliance with Canadian law, a player would have to have his second dose (or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) by April 11.
Major League Baseball cannot mandate vaccines for players under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, but unvaccinated players who do not travel to Canada would be placed on the restricted list for the series and could lose pay and service time if their team chooses.
For Sale, that would be approximately $1.8 million.
MLB has essentially issued a mandate for managers, coaches, athletic trainers, and other personnel who work closely with teams, ruling that any unvaccinated employee would not be allowed in restricted areas.
“Hopefully with continued education and understanding, everyone will be vaccinated as we get into the season,” team president Sam Kennedy said.
“Any time you don’t have a full complement of players, whether it’s vaccination or other health-related issues, it’s always a concern.”
Eovaldi for openers?
Nate Eovaldi faced hitters for what amounted to two innings Tuesday and is scheduled to start in Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against Tampa Bay on Friday and go two innings.
That schedule would allow Eovaldi to make four starts in spring training before starting Opening Day against the Yankees on April 7 in New York.
Nick Pivetta is scheduled to start his first game Sunday. That would line him up for the second game of the regular season.
Strahm deal is done
New lefthanded relievers Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm were in uniform for the workout. Only Strahm’s one-year, $3 million deal was made official.
Strahm, 30, has six years of major league experience but appeared in only six games for the Padres last season because of a right knee injury.
Diekman, 35, agreed to what amounts to an $8 million deal. He has $3.5 million guaranteed for this season and next and either a $4 million team option for 2024 or a $1 million buyout.
Jackie Bradley Jr. reclaimed the No. 19 he wore from 2017-20. Hirokazu Sawamura shifted to 18.
James Paxton has 65, Michael Wacha has 52, and Rich Hill took 44. In earlier stints with the Red Sox, Hill had 53 from 2010-12 and 62 in 2015.
Garrett Whitlock (72) and Tanner Houck (89) stayed with their decidedly pedestrian numbers from last season, although that could change.
Kennedy opened his meeting with reporters by paying tribute to Donny Bowes, a long-time team security supervisor who was struck and killed by a car last week. Bowes was 58.
“Donny represented everything that’s great about the Red Sox,” Kennedy said. “I know him from Gate A at Fenway. He greeted most of us with, ‘I love you, brother,’ as we walked by. I just wanted to send our condolences to the family.”
Sox are starry-eyed
The Sox are “lobbying hard” for MLB to bring the All-Star Game to Fenway Park for the first time since 1999, according to Kennedy.
“ASAP,” Kennedy said when asked what season the Sox were bidding for.
The game is scheduled for Dodger Stadium this season and Seattle’s T-Mobile Park in 2023. The next open slot is 2024.
Devers open to extension
Rafael Devers cannot become a free agent until after the 2023 season. But he’s willing to discuss a long-term contract. “This is my home,” he said. “I want to play here.” Devers, 25, is one of the best hitters in the game. His last three seasons have produced an .886 OPS, 194 extra-base hits, and 271s RBI over 369 games . . . Kennedy said there has been “a pretty big uptick” in ticket sales since the lockout ended. The April 15 home opener is not sold out yet, but will be according to Kennedy . . . Many of the players wore a black garment containing a biometric tracker under their uniforms for the first workout . . . The Sox held their annual “company meeting” before the workout, gathering the players and other team personnel inside JetBlue Park. It was an exclusive affair as reporters were banned from the press box lest they hear the stirring orations. David Ortiz spoke via video. Principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner were not in attendance.