Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced today that the two-game series in San Juan, Puerto Rico between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins, which had been slated for May 30th-31st at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, has been relocated to Miami's Marlins Park.
The Players Association requested that Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. relocate the games after numerous players expressed concerns about contracting and potentially transmitting the Zika virus to their partners. Players and staff of both Clubs received full briefings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) science staff regarding the risks associated with the Zika virus, and the recommended precautions for travelers including those with partners who are pregnant or attempting to conceive. After discussing the issue with all involved parties, and consulting with federal and Puerto Rican government officials at the highest levels, Commissioner Manfred decided that the players who objected to the trip because of their specific family situations should not be forced to travel to Puerto Rico. Because too many regulars on both Clubs fell into that category, Commissioner Manfred had no choice but to relocate the games.
Commissioner Manfred and the MLBPA fully understand the disappointment by those in Puerto Rico to the relocation of the games. MLB and the Players Association did everything possible to adequately address the concerns raised by players and still play the games in Puerto Rico, but despite extensive efforts, they were unable to develop a workable solution. The parties will continue to support the growth of the game in Puerto Rico, where an outstanding baseball tradition has long made the island an important venue for the game. MLB looks forward to returning to play games in Puerto Rico in the near future.
In lieu of the games, MLB will stage several youth baseball and community events in Puerto Rico later this month, which will be attended by Commissioner Manfred and several former MLB players. Both MLB and the Players Association also will make contributions to the CDC Foundation to assist the efforts to eradicate Zika in Puerto Rico.