SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Major League Baseball has joined with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League and plans to suspend operations immediately due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The league announced Thursday that the season will be delayed by at least two weeks “due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

It is unclear when baseball activity will begin again, but teams have spent the last 24-to-48 hours preparing for alternative arrangements.

On Wednesday, the Giants announced that exhibitions scheduled to take place in Northern California on March 22 and March 24 would be canceled or moved to an alternate location. The A’s never made an official statement regarding the team’s March 23 exhibition against the Giants slated to take place in Oakland, but the team did not anticipate to play it as scheduled and was awaiting word from the league on how to proceed.

Now, those exhibitions may ultimately take place, but due to a delayed season, they may not happen until April.

Unlike the NBA and NHL, MLB has time to figure out its plan of action for making up or canceling games that were scheduled to take place in the first two weeks of the season. The league can opt to play games into October and November, or it can choose to shorten the season.

The expectation is that while teams will keep essential personnel near spring training sites, players will not practice and games will not take place behind closed doors until the league gives official approval.

It’s unclear if and when MLB expects spring training to resume, but the league cannot start the regular season without giving players –and in particular pitchers– the proper time to prepare for games.