Free agent infielder Hanley Ramírez has signed a minor league deal with the Indians, per a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The team has yet to announce the signing, which is currently pending the completion of a physical.
It’s been a while since Ramírez set foot on the big league stage. The 35-year-old suited up for the Red Sox last spring, but only appeared in 44 games before getting released by the team in late May. During that span, he slashed .254/.313/.395 with six home runs, four stolen bases (in five chances), a .708 OPS, and -0.2 fWAR through 195 plate appearances.
Given Ramírez’s declining defensive value and equally cringeworthy offensive stats, it seems ludicrous to suggest that he’ll be able to earn a starting role with the club in camp. Still, it’s a low-risk move for the Indians, and one that may yet pay off in the event that they need insurance for shortstop Francisco Lindor (out 7-9 weeks with a strained calf) or a platoon partner for first baseman Jake Bauers.
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.