Winter meetings notes: Day 1

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Let’s touch on some stuff that didn’t make it into the blog entries:
*ESPN’s Jayson Stark says the Blue Jays and Dodgers discussed Roy Halladay but didn’t find a match.
In no small part because the Dodgers are apparently flat broke.
*The Mariners are talking to free agent reliever Darren Oliver about a contract, says FOXSports.com.
Perhaps Jack Zduriencik’s biggest misstep in his rookie year as the Mariners’ GM was giving away Eric O’Flaherty on waivers. The team could use a lefty for the bullpen, and besides Mike Gonzalez, Oliver would seem to be the best option available.
*The Red Sox met with Justin Duchscherer’s agent on Sunday night, according to WEEI.com.
It’d be an upset if Boston didn’t land one or two pitchers from the group of high-upside-but-injury-prone pitchers that includes Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Duchscherer and Kelvim Escobar. I’d put John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez in that class as well, but the Red Sox aren’t going there.
*The Yankees and Mets have joined the Red Sox in inquiring about Escobar, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Escobar is considering pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League to show teams what he can do. He’ll probably have to if he expects to land a guaranteed contract. Otherwise, he’d only be worth a flier on a minor league contract.
*SI.com’s Jon Heyman thinks the Mets’ forthcoming offer to Bengie Molina could be a one-year deal worth $6 million with an option for 2011.
As the top catcher on the market, Molina won’t be quick to take a one-year offer. The Giants might be willing to re-sign him if he backs down from his request for a multiyear pact, so the Mets will probably have to guarantee that second year if they hope to bring him in.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”