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Orioles, Miguel Castro avoid arbitration with one-year, $1.05 million contract

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Orioles and reliever Miguel Castro have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year, $1.05 million contract for the 2020 season. Castro was a first-time arbitration-eligible player and has two more years of eligibility remaining.

Castro, 25, was robbed at gunpoint in the Dominican Republic earlier this week, ESPN reported. Translated, Castro wrote on Instagram in a post that appears to have been since deleted, “Thank God that their gun got jammed.” He added, “I’m alive by the mercy of God.”

This past season, Castro posted a 4.66 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 41 walks over 73 1/3 innings for the Orioles. He will continue to help bridge the gap to closer Mychal Givens.

MLB and MLBPA announce first set of COVID-19 test results

MLB COVID-19 test results
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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.