The Orioles will give Nelson Cruz a qualifying offer

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The Orioles have been talking to — or at least trying to talk to — Nelson Cruz about a long term deal. That hasn’t borne fruit yet, so now a little pressure: Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles plan to make a qualifying offer to Cruz.

The qualifying offer this year is $15.3 million, and if he is given such an offer, anyone who signs Cruz would owe the O’s a pick. Last year Cruz had a hard time finding work, partially because he was tainted with the Biogenesis stuff, partially because had a qualifying offer attached to him. He ended up signing with the O’s for a bargain basement $8 million.

The question now is whether anyone would be willing to offer him any sort of deal that would pay him $15.3 million+ in 2015 if it means having to give up a draft pick for him. Yes, he had a big year — 40 homers and a .525 slugging percentage — but it was also only the second season in his career where he played as many as 130 games, it was by far his most productive year and it came at age 34.

A lot of people gambled wrong on Nelson Cruz last winter. But would you gamble on that happening again, in a season in which he’ll turn 35? And would you gamble twice as much plus a draft pick that it’ll happen?

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.”