White Sox decline $10 million option on shortstop Alexei Ramirez

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In one of the few option calls that could have gone either way, the White Sox have declined their $10 million option on shortstop Alexei Ramirez and will instead buy him out for $1 million.

Ramirez was really bad this season, hitting just .249 with 10 homers and a career-worst .642 OPS in 154 games and at age 34 it’s tough to count on his defense being an asset. With that said, he posted a decent .713 OPS with 15 homers in 2014 and it’s tough to find shortstop upgrades on the open market. He’s been Chicago’s starter since 2008.

Ramirez may not get $10 million for 2016 as a free agent, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a multi-year deal for more overall money simply because the position is always so tough to fill. If a contending team thinks he’s still a plus on defense Ramirez has generally been an average or better hitter compared to other shortstops.

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.”