On Friday night Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams spoke with the media via a conference call about the organization’s plans in the short term.
As reported earlier in the day, the players are allowed to head back home, or to remain in the area of their spring training facilities if they so choose. The Reds big league team was split as to who would remain in Goodyear and who would head back home.
“Some players said, ‘I’d like to stay here for a while and see how it goes. Some people have said, ‘I’m going to go home, but I don’t know how long I’ll stay there. I may come back,” said Dick Williams. “There will be a lot of people playing it by ear, as you can imagine. I would say less than half of our players are going to remain in Arizona right now (big league camp), and probably a little more than that are going to go home.”
“Our plan will over the next few days, the complex will be closed except for the process of helping minor league players understand and make their next move – their travel logistics,” said Williams. “They (the minor leaguers) are given the option to stay. They are encouraged to go home just because their season is behind ours (MLB), so they’re facing a pretty lengthy delay. But we were working with those guys what their choices are. We do anticipate a significant number of minor league players staying here and continuing in their apartments. We have a minor league presence here almost year round. We’re pretty used to busing them to and from the complex. We’ll figure out what meals will be provided out of the complex and they’ll continue to receive their per diem.”
While there is nothing finalized yet from Major League Baseball, or from the Cincinnati Reds as to how things will play out once everyone has a better idea of when the season could begin, Williams did lay out what he believes the plan would look like.
“Our understanding is that there is going to be a period of downtime and then they are going to closely monitor the health situation and when they decide on a time where they think they can start the season back up. They are going to build in a multi-week time for preparation and it’s my understanding that most likely it would be back out here for all teams, back at their spring training facilities, but that has not been committed to.”