Jose Abreu, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and will report late to spring training camp, the Chicago White Sox announced Wednesday.
Abreu, 34, is asymptomatic and will remain isolated "for the next several days," the club said. "He believes he contracted a mild case of the disease in January, which is reinforced by the presence of COVID antibodies in additional testing. Other than being frustrated, Jose feels great and, like the rest of us, is looking forward to when he rejoins the club in the not too distant future."
Abreu becomes the third of of the four major 2020 award winners to contract COVID-19. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman waged an unsettling battle against the disease in July before recovering and winning his first NL MVP award.
AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber tested positive for COVID-19 before reporting to Cleveland Indians camp and missed the first four days of workouts.
Jose Abreu will report late to spring training camp. (Photo: Mike Dinovo, USA TODAY Sports)
Intake testing has proven a significant hurdle for reporting players during both years of the pandemic. Last July, 58 players and eight staff members tested positive in early-July intake testing prior to summer camp, after they traveled to their home training site; 27 of 30 teams were affected. The positivity rate was 0.2% out of 7,401 tests.
The first results of 2021 intake testing released by MLB and the players' association revealed nine players and four staffers tested positive, with a positivity rate of 0.3% among 4,336 samples.
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