Last fall we heard that the Nationals offered Bryce Harper a ten-year, $300 million deal. Yesterday we learned that, in reality, it was not really a $300 million deal because a full one-third of that $300 million was deferred money. Today we hear that there has been nothing else doing between the Nationals and Harper since last fall and that the Nationals have, officially, moved on.
That’s the story from NBC Sports Washington, which spoke with Nats owner Mark Lerner today. Lerner said the roster is set and Bryce Harper is not going to be a part of it:
“We’ve moved on. As I said back then and we had to. There was no way we could wait around. Bryce, I’m sure will make his decision hopefully in the next few days, but we’ve filled out our roster and like I said, we wish him nothing but the best.”
He did add later that “the door is cracked” if Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, wish to re-engage, but Lerner said he has not heard from the Harper camp in months.
It seems like Philly or, possibly, San Francisco, are the only real contenders. A reporter closely connected with Harper’s agent is saying the Padres haven’t ruled him out, but it’s hard to know how seriously to take that report.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.