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There is ‘mutual interest’ between Edwin Encarnación and the Blue Jays

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Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports that there is “mutual interest” between the Blue Jays and Edwin Encarnación.

A reunion would make some sense in that the Blue Jays currently have no first baseman — their last one, Justin Smoak, just signed a deal with Milwaukee — and given that Encarnación has such a great history in Toronto.

He’ll be 37 next month, but he hit .249/.325/.531 with 34 homers and 86 RBI for Seattle and New York last year. In his eight years with the Blue Jays he hit .268/.355/.522 with 239 homers while making three All-Star teams and getting some downballot MVP support at time. That kind of resume, and what seems to be left in the tank, seems like a perfect fit for a team looking to draw some fans, continue its rebuild, and get some decent short-term production in the process.

If they can’t make it work with Encarnación, Eric Thames — who could be a reasonably facsimile of Smoak, one imagines — is available. As is Travis Shaw, who has spent a fair amount of time at first.

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.”