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56 players non-tendered, become free agents

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With Monday’s 8 PM ET contract tendering deadline past, it’s official: 56 players were not tendered contracts and are now free agents, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. There were over 200 players, so roughly 75 percent of eligible players were tendered contracts.

We mentioned that shortstop Addison Russell is among them. Other notable players not tendered contracts include outfielder Kevin Pillar (who received an MVP vote), shortstop Tim Beckham, second baseman César Hernández, third baseman Maikel Franco, starter Taijuan Walker, starter Jimmy Nelson, reliever Blake Treinen, infielder José Peraza, and catcher Josh Phegley.

Teams consider a player’s health, age, and production when deciding whether or not to tender them contracts, as well their projected salaries in arbitration and the teams’ own payroll flexibility. Non-tendered players also open up a spot on the 40-man roster, which can be important for some teams with the Rule 5 draft that will take place next week during the Winter Meetings.

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.”