The Braves made a deal with the Cubs on Friday evening, sending second baseman Tommy La Stella and international signing slot No. 4 to Chicago in exchange for pitcher Arodys Vizcaino and the Cubs’ No. 2, 3, and 4 international signing slots.
While the inclusion of the international signing slots has its own implications — such as the pursuit of free agent Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada — David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution adds that, with Vizcaino now in the mix in the Braves’ bullpen, the club is even likelier to trade a set-up man. Odds are on Jordan Walden or David Carpenter being shopped.
Walden put together a great 2014 campaign for the Braves, finishing with a 2.88 ERA and a 62/27 K/BB ratio over 50 innings. Carpenter was decent as well, putting up a 3.54 ERA with a 67/16 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. Walden is eligible for arbitration for the second time after earning $1.49 million this past season, while Carpenter is arbitration-eligible for the first time after taking home $532,500.
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.