Nationals star shortstop Trea Turner has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced. Turner was removed from this evening’s game against the Phillies in the first inning after the result came in. Fellow infielder Luis Garcia is likely to be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to replace Turner on the active roster, reports Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
It’s a shocking development for a player who recently surfaced in trade rumors. Upon Turner’s mid-game exit, plenty of speculation emerged about a potential deal being in the works. Instead, his removal is a result of a positive test.
Placement on the COVID IL doesn’t come with a minimum stint, although the fact that Turner tested positive suggests he’s likely to miss at least ten days while quarantining. Players on the injured list can still be traded, so tonight’s news doesn’t entirely eliminate the possibility of a midseason deal.
That always seemed a bit unlikely, though, given Turner’s star play and the Nationals’ desire to compete again in 2022 (and perhaps to not throw in the towel on the 2021 season). Uncertainty about his health status only figures to complicate any trade talks, casting even more doubt on the possibility of Turner changing teams by Friday.
Obviously, Turner’s health is of paramount importance. The Nationals haven’t offered further comment beyond the news of his positive test result, but it’s notable that Turner felt well enough to take the field tonight before his positive test became known to the organization.