As his friends and former teammates work out at major league spring training camps across Florida and Arizona, Colin Rea trudges through the snow of eastern Iowa doing his best to prepare for the season in surroundings that don’t lend themselves to the game.

After pitching in nine games for the Chicago Cubs last season, Rea signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks over the winter. He fully expected to be training in the warmth of their southern Japan camp when it opened Feb. 1.

Instead, Rea — like more than a dozen other players who joined Japanese clubs in the offseason — is in limbo. Japan closed its borders to noncitizens and new arrivals Jan. 4 in a heightened effort to control the spread of the coronavirus. Originally in effect through Feb. 7, the current entry ban now extends through Sunday but is continually being reviewed.