AP Photo/Tim Donnelly

Report: Blue Jays nearing two-year deal with Marco Estrada

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We heard yesterday that the Blue Jays and right-hander Marco Estrada were talking about a multi-year deal and now Joel Sherman of the New York Post says there’s “lots of buzz” that the two sides are nearing a two-year contract in the range of $24-29 million.

Estrada was one of 20 free agents who received a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer last Friday. The 32-year-old is coming off an excellent season where he posted a 3.13 ERA and 131/55 K/BB ratio over 181 innings. He had a 2.33 ERA over three starts during the Blue Jays’ postseason run.

Estrada would be tied to draft pick compensation if he declines the qualifying offer (he has until 5 p.m. ET tomorrow to do so), which could impact his market. He struggled in 2014 and his success this year was largely unexpected, so teams could be hesitant about giving up a draft pick to sign him in a deep class of free agent starting pitchers. Taking a two-year deal to stay in Toronto makes sense through this prism.

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.”