Cubs make Chris Denorfia signing official

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The Cubs had a one-year deal in place with outfielder Chris Denorfia in place on New Year’s Eve and made it official today, per the club’s official Twitter. Denorfia will earn $2.6 million in 2015 and can earn an additional $400,000 in incentives.

Denorfia, 34, had the worst offensive season of his career in 2014, posting a .612 OPS in 268 plate appearances for the Padres before being sent to the Mariners at the trade deadline. In Seattle, he compiled a .573 OPS in 90 plate appearances. The Cubs are likely to limit Denorfia to left-handed pitching as his career OPS is over 110 points higher against them than against right-handers.

Regardless of his production with the bat, Denorfia has value since he has a significant amount of experience at all three outfield positions and plays above-average defense.

MLB and MLBPA announce first set of COVID-19 test results

MLB COVID-19 test results
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
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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.