TAMPA — Domestic-violence offender Domingo German signed off on a punishment that, he assumed, would get him back in action for more than half of the 2020 season.

In reality, though, the Yankees’ right-hander only committed to the number of games he would miss, not the number for which he would be available. And the extreme likelihood of Major League Baseball’s 162-game season being shortened by the coronavirus pandemic also would delay German’s return.

“He has a suspension in the amount of games,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of German during a conference call Friday. “It doesn’t start until the schedule starts. The suspension is in games, so the bottom line is, until those games come off the board, that’s how long his suspension is going to last.”

German agreed to an 81-game suspension that included 18 games served last fall. Had this season progressed normally, the right-hander would have been eligible to return to game action on June 5, the Yankees’ 64th game, a home contest against the Rays.

To this point, MLB has announced only a two-week delay of action, and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said Friday in a conference call that the current plan calls for those two weeks of games to be made up on the back end of the schedule. Nevertheless, virtually no one believes that the postponement will be limited to two weeks. Games will have to be canceled and the schedule curtailed. Which in turn will further curtail German’s campaign.


Cashman said that Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who had been diagnosed with the flu on Tuesday, is “improved.” Sanchez also had been dealing with an ailing back.


Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, in the same conference call, that George M. Steinbrenner Field, which will continue to host the entire Yankees team for informal workouts, had been cleaned exhaustively twice in the past week with a “bleach-type spray” to reduce the likelihood of a coronavirus case there.