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Four Minnesota Twins players will not travel to Canada for their three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays due to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.
Right fielder Max Kepler, Emilio Pagán, Caleb Thielbar and Trevor Megill have all been placed on Canada’s shortlist of health mandates, which require travelers to have at least two doses of the vaccine.
Relief pitcher Emilio Pagán spoke to reporters about his decision Thursday, noting it was something he discussed with the team.
“I know there will be people who will be very angry with this opinion and this position, but that’s okay,” he said. “I feel like I have a choice to make, and they also have a choice whether they’re going to be mad at me or not.”
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“I went to all the guys in that locker room and explained where I was and how I made my decision, and apologized because I know it hurts the team,” said Pagan, 31 years old. “I don’t believe it’s a baseball decision. It’s the Canadian government. It’s not even an MLB rule.”
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The The twins entered June with an already sold out roster, with a lengthy injured list that includes starting pitcher Sonny Gray and rookie shortstop Royce Lewis. A handful of players have also been released with COVID-19, including shortstop Carlos Correa and starting pitcher Joe Ryan.
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The Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners have both announced in recent weeks that they will miss players in Toronto due to the vaccine mandate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.