Right fielder Max Kepler, Emilio Pagán, Caleb Thielbar and Trevor Megill were all placed on the restricted list over Canada’s health mandates, which require travelers to have at least two doses of the vaccine.
Relief pitcher Emilio Pagán spoke to reporters about his decision on Thursday, emphasizing that it was something he discussed with the team.
“I know that there are going to be people that are very angry for this opinion and the stance, but that’s fine,” he said. “I feel like I had a choice to make, and they have also a choice if they’re going to be mad at me or not.”
“I’ve gone to every guy in this locker room and explained where I was, and how I came up with my decision, and apologized because I do know it’s hurting the team,” the 31-year-old Pagán said. “I do not believe this is a baseball decision. This is the Canadian government. It’s not even an MLB rule.”
The Twins entered June with an already depleted roster, with a long injured list that includes starting pitcher Sonny Gray and rookie shortstop Royce Lewis. A handful of players are also out with COVID-19, including shortstop Carlos Correa and starting pitcher Joe Ryan.
The Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners both announced over the past several weeks that they would have players miss games in Toronto because of the vaccine mandate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.