Although Major League Baseball cannot unilaterally require vaccinations for all big league players because they are part of a union with which the league must negotiate, it can do so with respect to minor league players.
And it will do so:
News: Major League Baseball is finalizing a policy that would require all minor-league players to be vaccinated before the 2022 season. https://t.co/SiXoaXEZvY
— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) October 6, 2021
MLB has already required all non-player personnel to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in the postseason, and there will be a similar requirement in place for the Arizona Fall League. Teams have also instituted their own mandates for non-players. All of the minors for 2022 is really just the logical next step.
While I don’t like that minor league players are not protected by collective bargaining rights, there is a clear health interest here in disseminating safe and effective vaccines among employees. So that part is good. Now just pay them more of a living wage and take care of their housing needs …
As for the big leagues, there are no vaccine mandates in place for players, though it’s possible that will be negotiated with the Players Association this offseason. Cubs President Jed Hoyer today said that he would like nothing better than to reach a point next year where the issue has been handled in the bargaining process, and then all clubhouses are entirely vaccinated.