Major League Baseball has announced that spring training will be suspended effective Thursday at 4 p.m. ET and that the start of the regular season will be delayed by at least two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States and around the world.
The Mets had been scheduled to open the season on March 26 at Citi Field against the Nationals.
Here is the full press release from the league:
Following a call with the 30 Clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans.
MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4:00 p.m. (ET) today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona have been postponed indefinitely.
MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.
With games stopped, the Mets will be keeping their spring training complex open to the players for now, SNY's Andy Martino reported.
Per The Post's Joel Sherman, MLB sent a memo to all teams advising players to stay at their spring training locales through Sunday to keep them with their team physicians and away from known affected areas.
The Mets' full schedule over the first two weeks of the season was to be against the Nationals (three games) and Phillies (three games) at Citi Field from March 26-April 1, followed by road series against the Nationals (three games) and Astros (two games).
On April 9, which is the earliest the season will start, the Mets are scheduled to open a four-game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee.
The last time the start of the Major League Baseball season was delayed was in 1995, when the 1994 strike led to a lockout to begin the season.
Play began on April 25, with the league playing a 144-game schedule.
The 1995 season was also the first with the expanded playoff format, with the addition of one Wild Card team in each league leading to an additional playoff round -- the NLDS/ALDS.
The Mets finished the 1995 season with a record of 69-75, in second place in the NL East behind the Braves, who won the World Series over the Indians.