From Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times comes word that Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes turned down a six-year, $36 million contract offer from the Cubs last month before inking his four-year, $36 million deal with the A’s. Wittenmyer explains:
In addition to the significant difference in annual salary, the center fielder told his agent he didn’t want a six-year deal from anybody. If not four, [Cespedes] wanted eight or more.
The Cubs wouldn’t go that long, and they also wouldn’t agree to a clause that would make Cespedes ineligible for arbitration. The Athletics did, meaning the 26-year-old can hit the open market again at age 30.
Cespedes is 3-for-16 in the Cactus League with a home run, two singles, two walks and six strikeouts. He batted .333/.424/.667 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI in 90 games last year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.