Bob Nightingale of USA Today reports that the White Sox have “engaged in serious talks” with the A’s for Jeff Samardzija and “are looming as the front-runners” to acquire the right-hander.
Samardzija spent the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career in Chicago pitching for the Cubs before being traded to the A’s in July and was first linked to the White Sox a couple weeks ago.
Top prospects Marcus Semien and Tim Anderson would seemingly be likely A’s targets in a potential Samardzija deal, but Nightingale didn’t get into any specifics in terms of their asking price.
Samardzija is one season away from free agency and coming off a career-year in which he started 33 games and threw 220 innings with a 2.99 ERA and 202/43 K/BB ratio at age 29.
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.