NEW YORK — Major League Baseball says 70% of players, on-field staff and support personnel have been fully or partially vaccinated for the novel coronavirus.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Tuesday during SporticoLive’s online discussion of its estimates to baseball franchise valuations.

In an email to The Associated Press, Manfred said his figure referred to all individuals defined as Tier 1 in MLB’s protocols, which includes players, on-field personnel such as managers, coaches and athletic trainers, plus essential personnel who need to be in close proximity, such as translators and media and travel staff. He said the 70% figure includes partial vaccinations for those receiving two-stage vaccines.

“I think we’re around 70%. The clubs have worked really hard with their players,” Manfred said. “We’re continuing to press to try to get everybody up above that kind of 85 (%) number that we think is so important.”

MLB told players on March 29 that COVID-19 protocol restrictions would be relaxed when 85% of Tier 1 personnel are vaccinated.

WHITE SOX: Outfielder Luis Robert was placed on the injured list by the Chicago White Sox as a precaution after he reported feeling flu-like symptoms.

The team is awaiting further test results.

Robert is hitting .305 with one home run and six RBI in 21 games. He finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting last season.

YANKEES-GIANTS: The New York Yankees acquired left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta from the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Mike Tauchman.

Peralta, 29, is 2-1 with two saves and a 5.40 ERA in 10 relief appearances with the Giants this season and is 9-9 with a 4.72 ERA and two saves in nine major league seasons with Cincinnati (2016-19) and San Francisco (2019-21). He throws fastballs, sliders and change-ups, mixing in occassional sinkers, and his fastball averages 95 mph.

Last season, Peralta went 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 25 relief outings. Left-handed hitters were just 7 for 41 (.171) against him.

Peralta becomes the third left-hander in the bullpen after closer Aroldis Chapman and Justin Wilson. Zack Britton is on the 60-day injured list following elbow surgery and is expected back in June.

With Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner splitting time in left field, there was little opportunity for Tauchman to find a spot in the lineup.

Tauchman, 30, is 3 for 14 (.214) in 11 games and has a .250 average with 26 doubles, 13 home runs, 63 RBI and 16 stolen bases over five major league seasons with Colorado (2017-18) and the Yankees (2019-21). Tauchman was acquired by the Yankees from the Rockies for left-hander Phillip Diehl on March 23, 2019.

Peralta has a $925,000, one-year contract, is eligible for arbitration after the season and can become a free agent after the 2023 season.

Tauchman has a $624,200 salary while in the major leagues and $301,550 while in the minors. He could be eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season.

CARDINALS: Catcher Yadier Molina was put on the 10-day injured list with a strained tendon in his right foot.

Molina was hurt in a game Friday night against Cincinnati. He sat out Saturday and Sunday, then returned on Monday to catch all nine innings of a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia.

The nine-time Gold Glove winner said he “had trouble moving around,” Manager Mike Shildt said.

The 38-year-old Molina is off to one of the best starts of his career. He is hitting .323 with five home runs and 14 RBI.

EXPANSION: Major League Baseball would consider expansion fees in the range of $2.2 billion for new franchises, though there are no current plans to add teams.

Colorado and Miami paid $95 million each to join in 1993, and Arizona and Tampa Bay paid $130 million to join in 1998.

Manfred has said repeatedly that MLB will not consider expansion until the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays get new ballparks. The Athletics have proposed a stadium in the Howard Terminal area of downtown Oakland, and the Rays have said they will pursue splitting seasons between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal starting in 2028, after the expiration of their lease at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

No plans for those cities have been finalized.

Manfred has mentioned as possible expansion candidates: Charlotte, North Carolina; Las Vegas; Montreal; Nashville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

PIONEER LEAGUE: The Pioneer League is replacing extra innings with a tie-breaking home run derby.

The independent partner league of Major League Baseball said that tied games this season will be decided by each team designating a batter who will receive five pitches, and the team hitting the most long balls during the derby will receive the win. If the derby is tied after five swings each, another hitter will be selected for a sudden-death derby round.
The league said the rule is designed “to avoid the excessive strain on our pitching staffs.”

While Major League Baseball is behind experimental rule changes in the independent Atlantic League, it is not involved in the Pioneer League changes.

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