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Padres rebrand no longer includes Alexei Ramirez

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Veteran middle infielder Alexei Ramirez was released by the Padres on Sunday, according to MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell. Ramirez was brought on board in the offseason to cover the club’s shortage of viable shortstops, but it quickly became apparent that the 34-year-old didn’t quite gel with the youth-centered rebuild manager Andy Green had in mind.

Over 128 games in San Diego, Ramirez cultivated a .240/.275/.330 slash line, hitting career lows with just five home runs and a -0.2 fWAR. Production issues aside, he found his infield range diminished and was frequently squeezed out of the lineup by 23-year-old infielder Luis Sardinas. He shifted to right field during his last few starts, acting as a stopgap in the absence of center fielder Jon Jay and utility man Alexi Amarista. With both Jay and Amarista due back from the disabled list later this week, it seemed as good a time as any to restructure the Padres’ infield and outfield options.

As Green put it:

It’s been a tough adjustment for him, being on the field sporadically. It’s different. He’s been doing it another way his whole career.

The Padres’ manager hopes Ramirez will find another landing place before the season’s end, though his skill set lends itself better to an outfield role than another stint at shortstop. Ramirez will receive the rest of his $3 million salary for 2016 and a $1 million buyout for the 2017 season.

Whether or not Green’s rebuilding strategy will take root over the next few seasons remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: with or without Alexei Ramirez, the Padres are still not ready to contend in 2016.

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.”