Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez is away from the team after breaking COVID-19 protocols. Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

CLEVELAND — For the third time in less than a year, the Cleveland Indians are having to isolate players because they broke COVID-19 protocols.

Third baseman José Ramírez and slugger Franmil Reyes are being kept away from their teammates at spring training in Arizona after they reported to the team that they went out to dinner in violation of team and Major League Baseball regulations.

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that the two players were sent to their temporary homes as the Indians await word from the league as to when they can rejoin the team.

Francona said Reyes, who had a virus-related misstep last season, and Ramirez went out to dinner on Friday following an exhibition game in Mesa against the Chicago Cubs.

They reported to the team’s complex on Saturday and were immediately sent home. They did not have contact with any other players or team personnel.

“We’re pretty fortunate here,” Francona said on a Zoom call. “We have some medical people who are right on top of things and they came right to me and they said: ‘Look, this is what we’re doing. We’re informing the league.’ The players themselves actually self-reported that they had made a mistake.


“So we told them: ‘This is not our rules. These are the rules that the players’ association and Major League Baseball came up with. We have to enforce them.’”

Francona said spoke to both players, and they they understood they could have put others in jeopardy.

“They were both upfront and honest with us about what happened,” Francona said. “We’re not trying to put guys in the penalty box. We try to talk to guys almost every day. ‘Hey, this is gonna happen if – it doesn’t matter if you agree with it or not. These are the protocols that are in place and you have to live by it.’”

This the second time Reyes has broken coronavirus protocols.

When spring training resumed last year after being stopped due to the pandemic, Reyes was forced to quarantine after the team learned via a social media posting that he attended a July 4 party while wearing a mask.

A month later, the Indians placed pitchers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac on the restricted list after they broke protocols by going out to dinner while the team was in Chicago. Clevinger, who was traded a few weeks later to San Diego, initially didn’t disclose he had been out with Plesac.


CUBS: Reliever Pedro Strop is away from the team after he violated baseball’s COVID-19 protocols.

Strop, 35, is in camp on a minor league deal. The Cubs said Major League Baseball will decide when Strop is allowed to rejoin the team.

Strop is trying to make it back to the majors after a tough season last year.

The veteran right-hander signed a $1,825,000, one-year deal with Cincinnati after the 2019 season. He was let go by the Reds last August and then signed a minor league contract with the Cubs. But he didn’t appear in a big league game for the rest of the year.

Strop was a fan favorite during his first stint with Chicago. He was acquired along with Jake Arrieta in a 2013 trade with Baltimore for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger.

NATIONALS: Jeremy Jeffress was released by Washington for what General Manager Mike Rizzo called unspecified “personnel reasons,” less than two weeks after the reliever agreed to terms on a minor league deal.

The team sent out a six-word tweet announcing the move.

Rizzo released a statement about the right-hander via a team spokesman that did not offer an explanation, saying only: “He was released for personnel reasons.”

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