The Kansas City Royals will be shorthanded during their trip to Toronto.
Kansas City manager Mike Matheny confirmed on Wednesday that 10 players will not travel with the team to Toronto for their four-game series against the Blue Jays due to the Canadian government’s vaccine mandate. Canada requires anyone entering the country to have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the second at least 14 days before entry.
Royals players Whit Merrifield, All-Star Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Dozier, Cam Gallagher, MJ Melendez, Brady Singer, Brad Keller, Kyle Isbel, Michael A. Taylor and Dylan Coleman will all be placed on the restricted list for the series, Matheny said following the Royals’ win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.
“It is an individual choice. The organization has done a real good job of bringing in professionals and experts to talk guys through tough conversations … to make the decision that is best for them and their family,” Matheny said at a postgame press conference. “Now what it presents is an opportunity for some young guys to step in that normally wouldn’t be here. And we will announce that group most likely tomorrow.”
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The 10 players will forfeit four days of pay and major league service time in accordance with the terms of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement.
Benintendi will lose $186,813, Merrifield $153,846, Keller $106,044 and Dozier and Taylor $98,901 each. The lost pay for Gallagher will be $19,451, Singer $15,962, Isbel $15,426, Coleman $15,399 and Melendez $15,385.
The Royals will call up minor-league players from its AAA and AA affiliates to fill their roster during the series, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
“Do we want our major league team on the field? The answer is ‘yes,'” Matheny said. “But right now this is the situation that we are in and we are looking forward to someone else stepping in and making the most of the opportunity.”
The Royals’ four-game series against the Blue Jays starts on Thursday and wraps up on Sunday. The Royals are 35-53, while the Blue Jays are 47-42 after Wednesday night’s win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Earlier this week, four players from the Philadelphia Phillies, including JT Realmuto, missed the series in Toronto.
Contributing: The Associated Press