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Ivan Nova has reportedly received offers in three-year, $36MM range

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According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Pirates’ starter Ivan Nova is in line for a three-year, $36 million offer similar to the one J.A. Happ took with the Blue Jays prior to the 2016 season. Nova’s agent, Greg Genske, confirmed that they’d been receiving offers in that range, though he didn’t name any current suitors.

Nova got off to a rough start with the Yankees during the first half of the 2016 season, posting a 4.90 ERA that looked like it was on pace to rival the career-high 5.07 mark he hit in 2015. He was dealt to the Pirates at the trade deadline and made remarkable strides over the final two months of the regular season, thanks in part to a deflated 3.06 ERA and a 17.33 K/BB rate over 64 2/3 innings in Pittsburgh’s rotation. His strikeout rate kept pace with his career 6.7 K/9 average, ramping up to a modest 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings, but it was his exceptional control that helped keep him ahead of opposing batters with just three walks in 263 batters faced.

The 29-year-old’s transformation on the mound seemed simple enough. Following his transition to Pittsburgh, Nova tweaked the release point on his curveball and focused on utilizing his breaking ball early in the count to get more first-pitch strikes. The change appears to have worked, and could give potential suitors confidence in the right-hander’s continued success in 2017. Whether or not Nova can net a more lucrative contract remains to be seen.

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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