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Report: Cubs, Jason Kipnis reach agreement on minor league deal

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Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs and free agent infielder Jason Kipnis have reached an agreement on a minor league contract. Kipnis will be a non-roster invitee to spring training. If he makes the big league roster, he’ll earn a $1 million salary and can earn more through performance incentives.

Kipnis, 32, had spent all nine years of his major league career with the Indians. Injuries and age have slowed him in recent years. Last season, he hit .245/.304/.410 with 17 home runs and 65 RBI across 511 plate appearances.

The Cubs did basically nothing during the offseason, so signing Kipnis to a minor league deal counts as a big splash for them. Assuming Kipnis makes the Opening Day roster, he will help hold the fort down at second base until prospect Nico Hoerner is deemed ready.

Mattingly: Marlins sidelined by virus are ‘feeling great’

Marlins COVID-19 tests
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Maimi Marlins players sidelined by COVID-19 are all asymptomatic, and some have applied for reinstatement, according to manager Don Mattingly.

The Marlins placed 17 players on the injured list last week following an outbreak in Philadelphia that forced seven games to be postponed. The infected players returned to Miami to be quarantined, and will likely need rehab workouts before rejoining the team.

“They feeling great,” Mattingly said. “They all feel like they’re ready to go. There are a lot of guys who have applied for reinstatement. How long that takes, I’m not sure. But they feel like they’re ready to at least get back and start doing something.”

Players on the COVID-19 injury list must be cleared by the MLB joint committee before returning.

Mattingly made his comments before the Marlins’ game against the Blue Jays in Buffalo, where they concluded a season-opening trip that turned into a 23-day marathon because of scheduling changes necessitated by the outbreak.

The team plays at Marlins Park for the first time this season Friday against Atlanta.