Brian Cashman addressed the Yankees players on Sunday morning about the new work rules that were to go into effect immediately to further reduce usage of spring training facilities and that motivated players to begin disbanding, a source told The Post.
The Yankees had said initially they would stay unified and work out regularly as a team in an unofficial capacity at George M. Steinbrenner Field in the aftermath of the suspension of the season until at least April 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the reality of less ability to work out in groups starting Sunday and that the season could be months rather than weeks away from restarting has shifted the thinking of many of the Yankees who do not reside in the Tampa area, the source said.
As part of a memorandum issued by the commissioner’s office on Sunday morning to the 30 teams, clubs were told to exclude non-40-man-roster players from using the facility and, the source said, that group of Yankees were all expected to leave unless they lived in Tampa. Plus, more of the 40-man players either were departing Sunday or were expecting to in the coming days.
The Yankees were going to — by following the memorandum — cut back on support staff to help players at the complex and further stagger the number of players who could be at the field at one time. That defeated the purpose of being unified and staying if the team could not work out en masse, the source said.
Plus, many players were growing to believe that if, as expected, ramifications of the virus worsened in the coming days, that the complex would be shut completely and that options to get out of Tampa might be limited as well, the source said.