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Tigers lose top scout Mike Russell to Diamondbacks

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The Tigers could lose impending free agents Max Scherzer and Victor Martinez this offseason, but there’s also this: Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Tigers top scout Mike Russell has accepted a job with the Diamondbacks, where he’ll serve as a special assistant to new senior VP of baseball operations De Jon Watson.

Russell has worked for Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski dating back to 1996 with the Marlins. He followed Dombrowksi to Detroit in 2002 as a major league scout and was a major factor in the team’s sustained run of success. Most notably, Russell did background work to acquire Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins in December of 2007. He was inducted into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame last year.

Watson also worked under Dombrowski in the mid-90s with the Marlins, so Russell jumped at the opportunity to reunite with a familiar face while coordinating the Diamondbacks’ pro scouting department.

“I’m really excited about it,” Russell said. “It was nothing negative. It was just a promotion and a chance to go help a friend.”

Dombrowski said this morning that he is working on hiring Russell’s replacement, but Beck speculates that one possibility could be former Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield. He was a major league scout with the Cubs this season.

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.”