The Marlins had interest in Jonathan Papelbon before firing Mike Redmond

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Marlins closer Steve Cishek blew four of his first seven save chances, part of the reason why the Marlins got off to a 16-22 start under manager Mike Redmond before he was fired on May 17. Things haven’t gone much better since then, as the Marlins entered Saturday’s game against the Orioles on an eight-game losing streak, five have come under GM-turned-manager Dan Jennings.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that, before Redmond was fired, the Marlins had some interest in trading for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. The club is 16-27 now, 9.5 games out of first place in the NL East. The Marlins may not even consider themselves buyers anymore and may instead pawn of veterans including Dan Haren, Mike Dunn, and and Michael Morse leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.

Papelbon, 34, would have been and would still be an upgrade in the Marlins’ bullpen. The veteran has gotten the save in all 11 opportunities while posting a 1.50 ERA with a 23/4 K/BB ratio in 18 innings. He’s owed $13 million for the 2015 season and his 2016 option worth $13 million will vest if he finishes 31 more games between now and the end of the season. (It vests with 100 combined games finished between 2014-15. He had 52 last season and has 17 so far this season.)

Phillies COVID testing reports no new positives

Phillies COVID testing
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Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.

It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.

All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.

UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: