New Astros GM says the Rangers are spending like “drunken sailors” in Latin America

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UPDATE: Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that he shouldn’t have used “drunken sailors” to describe the Rangers’ activity in Latin America. He also clarified his comments by saying that his point “was more about the magnitude of their investment prior to future limitations. Not saying it’s a bad strategy but one that many teams can’t afford.”

Hey, can’t blame the Rangers for getting while the getting is good. Luhnow would probably do the same if he was in the same spot as Daniels.

8:01 PM: The Astros and Rangers play in the same state and will soon be in the same division, but they shouldn’t exactly be considered rivals. Not yet, anyway. However, new Astros’ general manager Jeff Luhnow fired a shot across the bow earlier this afternoon in reference to the back-to-back American League champions.

Luhnow, who was in attendance for the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT, said that the Rangers are spending like “drunken sailors” in Latin America thanks to a new television contract.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News spoke with Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels, who responded to Luhnow’s comment by saying the following:

“I couldn’t be more proud of what our scouts and coaches have accomplished with the support of ownership. No need to respond to comments like that.”

Rangers’ president Nolan Ryan also refused to take the bait:

“I wish I had something witty to say,” Ryan said. “But my mother always told me that if I don’t have anything nice to say than to just be quiet.”

The Rangers have been pretty aggressive in Latin America over the past year, signing Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin to a five-year, $15.5 million deal last May and Dominican outfielders Ronald Guzman ($3.5 million) and Nomar Mazar ($5 million) a few months later. But they really ruffled some feathers among MLB executives earlier this week by agreeing to sign Dominican outfielder Jairo Beras for $4.5 million when many teams believed he was only 16 years old and thus ineligible to sign until July 2, which is when the new international spending cap goes into effect. The signing is currently being investigated by MLB.

Cubs-Cardinals series postponed after more positive tests

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ST. LOUIS — The entire three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis at Busch Stadium was postponed Friday night after two more Cardinals players and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

Major League Baseball announced that the whole weekend set was off. Hours earlier, MLB said Friday night’s game had been scrapped to ensure everyone affected on the Cardinals was identified.

There have been 24 games postponed in the majors this season because of coronavirus concerns.

St. Louis has missed 10 games while Miami and Philadelphia each have had seven postponements. In order to complete the 60-game schedule in this shortened season, the Cardinals will have to play 55 games in 49 games once they return to the field.

The Cardinals have been off since last Friday, when two players returned positive coronavirus tests. Eight St. Louis players in total have tested positive, including star catcher Yadier Molina.

The Cardinals spent five days in quarantine in a Milwaukee hotel before finally being cleared to travel back to St. Louis late Tuesday, when they returned negative tests for the second straight day. They got workouts in at home and had been prepared to return to the field Friday.

St. Louis’ next game is scheduled for Monday at home against Pittsburgh. The Cubs are set to play Tuesday at Cleveland.

MLB released its most recent testing numbers Friday. The league said there were 13,043 samples taken last week with 13 positive results for a 0.1% positive rate. During the monitoring phase, there have been 53,826 overall samples that have returned 71 positives for a 0.1% positive rate. Of those 71 positive results, 49 are players and 22 are staff.

Among the players who confirmed they tested positive for COVID-19 were a pair of All-Stars in Molina and Paul DeJong.

Before Friday’s postponement, the Cardinals had already added three doubleheaders against the Brewers to a previously scheduled series to make up their three games postponed last weekend. Milwaukee will host doubleheaders Sept. 18 and 20 and will serve as the home team in the opener of a twinbill in St. Louis on Sept. 25.

The Cardinals will make up this week’s series against the Detroit Tigers with doubleheaders Aug. 13 and Sept. 10. St. Louis had been scheduled to play the Chicago White Sox at the Field of Dreams in Iowa on Aug. 13. Those teams will play in Chicago on Aug. 14 instead.