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Report: Padres set to meet with Bryce Harper on Thursday

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The Padres’ offseason is getting interesting.

A couple of weeks ago there was a big story about the San Diego Padres’ finances. It was deployed, I argued, by team ownership as an excuse for why the team isn’t spending any real money on the free agent market. Then, a few days later, a report emerged that the Padres were interested in Manny Machado, seeking an in-person meeting with him and everything.

Now, it is being reported, they’re doing the same for Bryce Harper:

He later added that the meeting would take place tonight.

Harper, of course, has drawn interest from the Phillies and White Sox, and the Nationals are reported to have made him at least one and possibly multiple offers to return to Washington. The Padres would be a new entry into the sweepstakes.

The Padres have an opening at third base, so Machado would make sense for them. They do not have any corner outfield openings, but of course when it’s Bryce Harper, you talk about displacing the current, inferior options, not “making room” for Harper. If he’s genuinely interested in coming to San Diego as opposed to merely using the Padres to try to get larger offers from another team, you send a company memo to all the rando outfielders on the roster and tell ’em “sorry, fellas, but one of ya is gonna be out of of a job.”

Our skepticism of the Padres’ willingness to spend money notwithstanding, they are a club with an excellent farm system that could, if things break right, be contending sooner than you might think. Adding a blue-chipper like Harper or Machado could certainly goose that process.

Stay tuned.

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.”