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Report: Giants interested in Domingo Santana

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With both the Giants and Cardinals officially eliminated from trade discussions for Giancarlo Stanton, the Giants are turning their attention elsewhere. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the club has expressed interest in Brewers’ outfielder Domingo Santana and speculates that they could also pursue the Indians’ Jay Bruce, while sources tell MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that they’re still in on free agent Lorenzo Cain.

Santana, 25, is coming off of his best career season to date. He slashed .278/.371/.505 in his third campaign for the Brewers, producing 30 home runs and a .227 ISO in 607 plate appearances. He saw a promising spike in value, too, jumping from -0.1 fWAR in 2016 to 3.3 fWAR in 2017, and perhaps best of all, is still under team control for the next four years.

It’s no surprise that the Giants are interested in another hybrid slugger/outfielder to beef up a thin lineup and a thinner outfield, and they clearly won’t be the only ones vying for Santana’s services. Rosenthal adds that all of the Brewers’ outfielders have drawn some level of interest this offseason, with Ryan Braun and his full no-trade clause the least likely to be moved. Further reports from MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy indicate that while the Brewers are open to offers, they may not want to compromise the depth of their outfield unless and until they can be assured of a substantial return. With the Winter Meetings around the corner and Milwaukee’s rotation, bullpen and infield all ready for some upgrades, serious trade talks could begin sooner rather than later.

Baseball seeking a second lab for MLB COVID-19 tests

MLB COVID-19 tests
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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last night that Major League Baseball is “actively pursuing an additional medical lab site to increase the speed and efficiency” of MLB COVID-19 tests.

The current setup — as planned by MLB and approved by the MLBPA as a part of the plan to play the 2020 season — is for all MLB COVID-19 tests to be sent to and processed by MLB’s PED testing lab in Salt Lake City, Utah. As you likely heard, there have been delays in the administration of COVID-19 tests and in the shipping of tests to Utah, but to date no one has reported that the lab itself has not been able to handle the tests once they’ve arrived there. If MLB is looking for a second lab site a week into this process, it suggests that their plans for the Utah lab might not be working the way they had anticipated.

The issues with testing have created unease around the game in recent days, with some players and team executives speaking out against Major League Baseball’s handling of the plan in the early going. Commissioner Rob Manfred, meanwhile, has responded defensively to the criticism.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported this morning that, months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States still lacks testing capacity. From the report:

Lines for coronavirus tests have stretched around city blocks and tests ran out altogether in at least one site on Monday, new evidence that the country is still struggling to create a sufficient testing system months into its battle with Covid-19 . . .“It’s terrifying, and clearly an evidence of a failure of the system,” said Dr. Morgan Katz, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Hospital . . . in recent weeks, as cases have surged in many states, the demand for testing has soared, surpassing capacity and creating a new testing crisis.

It’s less than obvious, to say the least, how Major League Baseball plans to expand capacity for MLB COVID-19 tests while America as a whole is experiencing “a new testing crisis” and a “failure of the system.” At the very least it’s less than obvious how, even if Major League Baseball can do so, it can do so ethically.