A significant portion of the Kansas City Royals’ roster will be ineligible for this weekend’s series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
According to the club, 10 out of the 26 players will not be eligible to play. The players were placed on MLB’s restricted list, allowing the Royals to call up players from the minors to fill their spots temporarily.
Canada requires those without proof of COVID-19 vaccination to quarantine when arriving. Those with evidence of COVID-19 vaccination are exempt from quarantine.
The players illegible to go are infielders Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier; outfielders Andrew Benintendi, Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Isbel; catchers MJ Melendez and Cam Gallagher; starting pitchers Brad Keller and Brady Singer; and reliever Dylan Coleman.
According to MLB.com, seven of the players cited personal decisions for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Some said they would remain open to getting the vaccine, especially if it meant missing potential playoff games in Toronto.
“Right or wrong, I didn't do it on a whim,” Merrifield told MLB.com. “It's been a long thought process. Because I understand what Canada has in place right now. That's the only reason that I would think about getting it at this point, is to go to Canada. That might change down the road. Something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes.”
Canada has said current border policies will remain in place until at least September.