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Report: Pirates have made two contract offers to Ivan Nova


Pirates starter Ivan Nova is set to become a free agent after the season, so the club has reportedly made two multi-year contract offers, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. According to Brink, the Pirates made a contract offer in early September but were rebuffed by Nova’s representatives, who said the right-hander was seeking a deal in the neighborhood of five years and $70 million. The Pirates made a second offer and discussions are ongoing.

The Pirates acquired Nova from the Yankees ahead of the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline for two players to be named later, who turned out to be Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley. Despite struggling to a 4.90 ERA in 15 starts and six relief appearances with the Yankees, Nova has turned things around in Pittsburgh. Over nine starts, he has a 2.93 ERA and a 45/3 K/BB ratio in 55 1/3 innings.

The upcoming class of free agents is the weakest in recent memory, so Nova might prefer to hit free agency, particularly after turning his season around since joining the Pirates. The best targetson the market figure to be Rich Hill, Brett Anderson, Colby Lewis, and Jeremy Hellickson. Hill and Lewis in their mid-30’s, however, so as far as multi-year deals go, Nova is a much safer target.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

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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.”