With Hurricane Irma looming, Marlins allowing families on road trip

MIAMI -- With Hurricane Irma bearing down on South Florida, the Miami Marlins are allowing the families of players and staff to travel with the team on their upcoming road trip.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays have delayed their planned departure for a road trip to Boston from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday, according to the Tampa Bay Times.?

Players are making arrangements to get their families out of the Tampa area and some said they're packing up valuables and making arrangements to move their cars to different locations.

"I'm pretty [much] kind of panicking about it; I don't know what to do," ?Rays center fielder? Kevin Kiermaier?told the Times. "A lot of things can happen with its path and all that, but Mother Nature is undefeated every time certain things like this happen. It's scary nonetheless. Me being from Indiana, this is all new to me."

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated that he wasn't sure if the AL wild-card leaders would start a series at Tampa Bay as scheduled on Monday because of Irma fears.

"It might be in jeopardy, and I think anyone that looks at the path would assume that it might be in jeopardy," Girardi told reporters in Baltimore. Moving the series to New York may be a possibility.

The Marlins have done what they can to make things easier on their players.

"Jeffrey (Loria) ultimately made the decision that all the families are going to get to go with us, travel the whole trip, kids and the whole thing, and really provide a service for our families, which is really very nice of the organization," manager Don Mattingly said, referring to the Marlins' owner.?

The Marlins will be leaving Miami after Wednesday night's game against the Washington Nationals for a seven-game road trip to Atlanta and Philadelphia.?

"We all feel the same way, you all feel the same way too. If you had your kids here and you're leaving on a trip, it's not the best feeling to leave your family somewhere," Mattingly said. "We really don't have a family trip so it is actually probably a good thing. To me, I would like to see us have a couple trips where the families could travel with us and be a part of it. So it's a pretty good opportunity to see what it looks like."

Irma, a Category 5 storm, became the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin on record on Tuesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It could reach South Florida this weekend with the entire state in a state of emergency.

"That stuff looks pretty scary," Marlins pitcher Dillon Peters said. "Hopefully we miss the storm and we can get out of here. Obviously another hurricane in a big city is not a good thing."

Chicago Cubs catcher? Javier Baez, whose family lives in Puerto Rico, is also keeping an eye on the storm.

"It's really dangerous right now. Category 5. Everybody is panicking and buying all kinds of stuff from stores," Baez said. "We have to get ready and get through it ...They'll all be in one house. Send prayers."

Information from ESPN's Jesse Rogers and The Associated Press was used in this report.