Houston Astros – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-04-17T17:54:54Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[COVID Notes: 4/16/21]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=437140 2021-04-17T01:20:51Z 2021-04-17T01:20:51Z Friday’s coronavirus-related updates from the majors:

  • The Astros placed second baseman Jose Altuve, third baseman Alex Bregman, designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, catcher Martin Maldonado and infielder Robel Garcia on the COVID injured list Wednesday. They’re unlikely to return for the team’s five-game road trip, manager Dusty Baker told Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle and other reporters. The Astros begin a three-game series in Seattle on Friday, and they’re scheduled to play in Colorado next Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • The White Sox announced that they have reinstated right-hander Dylan Cease from the COVID IL and optioned righty Zack Burdi to their alternate site. Cease was only on the list for two days, but he’s already set to return after “a series of negative tests,” the team stated. He’ll make his third start of the season Saturday against the Red Sox. Cease logged a 3.86 ERA with nine strikeouts and six walks over 9 1/3 innings in his first two appearances.
  • Twins manager Rocco Baldelli revealed that he received a false positive test on Thursday, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. He isolated in his office and was then cleared after three or four more tests. The Twins aren’t out of the woods yet, though, as Baldelli said (via Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com) that they’ve had “further COVID-related issues in the clubhouse” on Friday. He couldn’t offer further details.
  • The Phillies with go without three members of manager Joe Girardi’s staff because of COVID protocols, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Hitting coach Joe Dillon, third base coach Dusty Wathan and bullpen coach Dave Lundquist are all away from the team. First base coach Paco Figueroa will move across the diamond to third, and coaching assistant Bobby Meacham will take over at first, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Astros Place 5 On Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=435631 2021-04-14T20:48:52Z 2021-04-14T20:28:17Z The Astros’ offense is taking a sizable hit, as the team announced Wednesday that designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, third baseman Alex Bregman, second baseman Jose Altuve, catcher Martin Maldonado and infielder Robel Garcia are all going to the injured list. The team made the moves due to health and safety protocols, according to Astros general manager James Click, who doesn’t expect their game against the Tigers on Wednesday to be postponed, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.

Houston’s losing four regulars in Alvarez, Bregman, Altuve and Maldonado. The first three have been vital members of the Astros’ offense for multiple seasons, and all three have gotten off to strong starts this year. Maldonado isn’t nearly as effective at the plate, though the Astros like his defense enough that they had been finalizing a one-year extension with him as of Tuesday.

With such a large chunk of their position player group down, the Astros are bringing up infielders Abraham Toro, Alex De Goti and Taylor Jones, catcher Garrett Stubbs, and outfielder Ronnie Dawson. De Goti and Dawson weren’t on the Astros’ 40-man roster, so their contracts had to be selected.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Astros, Martin Maldonado Finalizing One-Year Extension]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=435029 2021-04-13T20:40:47Z 2021-04-13T19:53:41Z The Astros are finalizing a one-year contract extension with catcher Martin Maldonado, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (via Twitter). The new pact would also contain a vesting option for the 2023 season. Maldonado is a client of MVP Sports Group.

The 34-year-old Maldonado is in his second different stint with the Astros since they acquired him from the Angels for left-hander Patrick Sandoval leading up to the July 2018 trade deadline. Maldonado divided some of the next year between the Royals and Cubs, only to return to the Astros in a 2019 deal that sent infielder/outfielder Tony Kemp to Chicago. The Astros were impressed enough with Maldonado’s work that they prevented him from exiting in free agency with a two-year, $7MM guarantee.

Maldonado typically hasn’t offered much as a hitter, evidenced by his lifetime .217/.291/.352 line in 2,541 plate appearances, though he did put up a career-best .215/.350/.378 last year. Maldonado’s off to a dreadful .094/.121/.094 start with 15 strikeouts against one walk in 33 PA this season, but the Astros are willing to roll the dice for another year, no doubt owing in large part to the veteran’s history of well-regarded work behind the plate. Maldonado has earned extremely high lifetime marks from Baseball Prospectus’ Fielding Runs Above Average metric, piled up 75 Defensive Runs Saved and thrown out an easily above-average 36 percent of would-be base thieves since debuting with the Brewers in 2011.

Barring any behind-the-plate changes in Houston, it’s slated to bring back its two current catchers – Jason Castro is the other – in 2022. Castro inked a two-year, $5MM contract in free agency, though he has only taken seven trips to the plate this season. Of course, considering Maldonado and Castro for a cheap duo, the Astros could still seek an upgrade(s) in the coming months if Maldonado and Castro don’t produce to the club’s liking.

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Alex Rodriguez, Odorizzi, Gallen, Sanchez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=433955 2021-04-11T00:57:46Z 2021-04-11T00:51:47Z Alex Rodriguez may finally secure an ownership role in North American sports, but it won’t be with a baseball team. After making an attempt to purchase the Mets last year, Rodriguez has teamed with billionaire Marc Lore. They are finalizing a deal to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. If completed, Rodriguez and Lore would take over in 2023.

The Timberwolves have struggled to build a consistent contender in the NBA since a successful run with fiery big man Kevin Garnett ended. Even then, functional GM Kevin McHale, coach Flip Saunders, and Garnett lost seven consecutive first round series. They finally broke through in 2003-04 for the franchise’s first playoff series win. They’d fall in the Western Conference Finals in what turned out to be the final playoff run of the Garnett era, however. Minnesota has just one playoff appearance in their history outside of that eight-year run, despite a roster currently built around the first overall pick of the 2015 draft Karl-Anthony Towns. You can find out more by heading to Hoops Rumors where Arthur Hill has the latest details. Now, back to baseball…

  • Jake Odorizzi is set to make his debut for the Houston Astros on Tuesday versus Detroit, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cristian Javier will head to the club’s alternate site to make room, tweets McTaggart. Javier should be back with the big league club before too long, but the Astros wanted to give him some extra time between appearances. Javier, 24, figures to be a significant part of the Astros’ rotation this season, but the 24-year-old wasn’t totally healthy at the start of the year. Regardless, he’s been sharp in two starts thus far, including getting a win with five scoreless innings against Oakland on Thursday.
  • Zac Gallen could also return as early as Tuesday, per the Athletic’s Zach Buchanan (via Twitter). Manager Torey Lovullo wouldn’t commit, but it certainly sounds like Gallen will be back soon. The Diamondback rotation has struggled without Gallen leading the way. Now that Ketel Marte has landed on the injured list, Gallen’s return could provide a much-needed lift for the Snakes.
  • Anibal Sanchez cut his fingers just 13 pitches into a bullpen showcase today, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (via Twitter). It had seemed like Sanchez would be ready to sign soon, but he’ll now need 10 days for his finger to heal. The Phillies, Nationals, and Marlins have all been tied to Sanchez at one point or another this winter.
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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[COVID Notes: 4/10/21]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=433687 2021-04-10T22:47:12Z 2021-04-10T22:40:28Z The latest coronavirus-related situations from around baseball…

Latest Moves

  • Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez isn’t available today due to COVID protocols, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe).  Martinez isn’t feeling well and could be back in the lineup as early as tomorrow, though the team is being cautious until Martinez gets his test results back. UPDATE: Martinez has been placed on the COVID IL, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Glove (via Twitter). Michael Chavis has been recalled to take his roster spot for the time being.

Earlier Today

  • The Blue Jays placed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on the COVID-19 injured list, per Scott Mitchell of TSN Sports (via Twitter). Santiago Espinal was activated to take his roster spot. Gurriel left Friday’s game after feeling vaccine-related symptoms, so he’s not likely to be out for too long.
  • Ryan Borucki, meanwhile, makes a quick return from the COVID IL. Ty Tice has been optioned. Tice made one appearance, tossing a pair of scoreless innings.
  • The Astros shifted Pedro Baez from the COVID-19 injury list to the regular 10-day injured list.  Baez is suffering from right shoulder soreness, as manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart and other reporters that Baez “was trying to do too much too soon” in his preparations to return from the COVID list.  Baez was placed on the COVID list in early March, so he missed a good chunk of Spring Training while sidelined.  Since being put on the normal IL required Baez to be returned to the 40-man roster, the Astros had to move Austin Pruitt to the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move.
  • The Yankees reinstated both Gio Urshela and Rougned Odor from the COVID-19 injury list, the team announced.  In corresponding moves, infielder Tyler Wade was optioned to the alternate training site, and first baseman Mike Ford had been optioned to the alternate site after last night’s game.  It was only a brief absence for Urshela, who ended up missing just last night’s game due to some side effects after receiving a vaccine.  Odor himself was only in COVID protocols due to standard intake and testing procedure after he was acquired in a trade from the Rangers earlier this week.
  • Cubs first base/catching coach Craig Driver has tested positive for the coronavirus and has returned to Chicago, the team told reporters (including The Chicago Tribune’s Meghan Montemurro).  Contact tracing and testing revealed no other positive results within the team’s traveling party over the last three days.  Driver is in his second season on the Cubs’ coaching staff, after spending the previous two seasons as the Phillies’ receiving coach and bullpen catcher.

[RELATED: Upcoming Changes to MLBTR Commenting Policy]

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Astros Place Enoli Paredes On IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=433414 2021-04-10T02:36:19Z 2021-04-10T02:36:19Z
  • The Astros placed righty reliever Enoli Paredes on the 10-day IL and recalled fellow righty Nivaldo Rodriguez, the team announced. Paredes’ placement on the IL was expected after he left his appearance Thursday with discomfort in his side.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Astros Notes: Valdez, Paredes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=432133 2021-04-09T03:36:46Z 2021-04-09T03:13:55Z Astros southpaw Framber Valdez hasn’t pitched in the majors this season on account of a broken finger, though he did return to throwing from flat ground Thursday, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. While general manager James Click called Thursday’s session a “tremendous step forward” for Valdez, there still isn’t a clear timetable for a potential 2021 debut. Valdez broke out last season with 70 2/3 innings of 3.57 ERA/3.23 SIERA ball, an elite 60 percent groundball rate, and terrific strikeout and walk percentages of 26.4 and 5.6, respectively.

    • Astros reliever Enoli Paredes left their game Thursday with a trainer, Rome tweets. The righty exited after throwing just three strikes out of 13 pitches and walking the only two batters he faced. Control has been a problem in all three appearances this year for Paredes, who has walked six hitters in 1 1/3 innings. Paredes also put up a below-average walk rate of 12.2 percent in his rookie year in 2020, but he still notched a 3.05 ERA (with a much less inspiring 4.63 SIERA) over 20 2/3 frames. [UPDATE: Paredes “did something to his side,” manager Dusty Baker said (via Rome). The Astros should know more Friday.]
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Sanchez, Correa, Torres]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=431712 2021-04-08T15:56:26Z 2021-04-08T14:48:55Z Anibal Sanchez continues to prepare himself for the 2021 season. This upcoming Saturday in Miami, he will throw a bullpen session for a few teams, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (via Twitter). The Phillies were linked to Sanchez this winter, while the Nationals have more recently expressed an interest in bringing the 37-year-old back to DC for a third season. Given the level of comfort between the two sides, the Nats certainly make for a logical match. Their need is clear enough with Patrick Corbin and Jon Lester on the injured list as part of the COVID-19 protocols. The team has not revealed whether either player tested positive or if they are currently out because of contact tracing protocols. Either way, the organization lacks rotation depth. It’s worth mentioning that one of the reasons that Sanchez didn’t sign one of the Major League offers he received this winter was because of concern about COVID, however. Even so, given the need for pitching around the game and Sanchez’s 15-year career as a Major League starter, a signing shortly after Saturday’s bullpen certainly seems on the table. Let’s check in elsewhere around the game…

    • There are few issues more central to the Astros’ future than Carlos Correa’s impending free agency. The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan addresses some of the complexities facing the Astros’ future at short. If Correa were to leave in free agency, prospect Jeremy Pena “is an excellent defender and he’s improved enough offensively in the last two years that he has everyday player potential,” writes Kaplan. Pena has not yet appeared above High-A, so his performance this season will provide a key data point. Given the plethora of shortstops about to hit the open market, however, the Astros could considering trying to snag one of them as a one-year stopgap as the Twins did this winter with Andrelton Simmons and the Blue Jays did with Marcus Semien. Banking on one of those players being available at that price point is risky, however. Still, now that Francisco Lindor has tied his long-term future to the Mets, there may be even more uncertainty for those shortstops behind him in the pecking order. To dig in further, definitely check out Kaplan’s full piece here.
    • Thinking about that future shortstop market, one has to wonder if the Yankees might be a prime player in next year’s shortstop market. Questions persist about Gleyber Torres’ ability to stick defensively at shortstop, per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The Yankees chose to bring back DJ LeMahieu this winter, thereby blocking Torres’ most natural position and locking him into shortstop. That said, there are always ways to re-assemble a roster, especially with a player as malleable as LeMahieu. Still, keep an eye on the 24-year-old Torres this season. If he’s not able to pick up his defensive play, the Yankees might find themselves in a position to exploit a robust shortstop market next winter.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Michael Brantley]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=426910 2021-04-05T00:36:25Z 2021-04-05T00:36:25Z The Athletics were outscored by a 35-9 margin over the course of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Astros, and some injury concerns only further worsened Oakland’s nightmare of a series.  Chad Pinder will receive an MRI after suffering a left knee sprain while making a jumping catch at the wall in the first inning of today’s game.  Pinder made an awkward landing while completing the play, and though he finished the inning, he was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the frame.

    • Astros manager Dusty Baker updated reporters (including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart) on Michael Brantley’s status, after the outfielder was hit in the left wrist by a pitch during Saturday’s game.  X-rays were negative on Brantley’s wrist, so “when he’s coming back, it just depends on his body and how he heals,” Baker said.  “We dodged a major bullet by him having no fractures or broken wrists or anything like that.  I’m sure his bone is bruised and whenever you have a bone bruise, different people heal at different time intervals.”  It isn’t out of the question that Brantley could play on Tuesday, Baker said, but “we’ve just got to wait and see on a daily basis without rushing him back.”
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Michael Brantley Leaves Game With Wrist Injury, X-Rays Negative]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=426666 2021-04-04T04:04:14Z 2021-04-04T04:04:14Z
  • X-rays were negative on Michael Brantley’s right wrist after the Astros slugger was hit by a pitch from Oakland’s Cole Irvin today.  Brantley remained in the game to play left field in the bottom half of the inning, but was replaced by pinch-hitter Chas McCormick the next inning when it was Brantley’s next turn at the plate.  Manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com’s Alyson Footer and other reporters that the team initially feared a much worse injury: “I went out to talk to Michael, he couldn’t feel his fingers….He’ll probably be sore for a couple days.  He couldn’t turn the bat head over so he’s day to day until then.”  McCormick was playing in just his second career big league game today, though on a Houston club that was already lacking in outfield depth, McCormick looks to be the top fill-in option if Brantley has to miss a significant amount of time.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Carlos Correa Discusses Extension Talks With Astros]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=425021 2021-04-01T23:27:38Z 2021-04-01T23:27:38Z The upcoming free-agent class lost an elite shortstop when Francisco Lindor and the Mets agreed to a whopping 10-year, $341MM contract on Wednesday. But it doesn’t appear the Astros’ Carlos Correa will join Lindor in forgoing a trip to the open market next winter. The Astros made somewhat of an effort to extend Correa, but the two sides “didn’t get close at all,” Correa told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com and other reporters on Thursday. Unless Correa unexpectedly lifts his Opening Day deadline for negotiations, it looks as if he could be going into his last season in Houston.

    The Astros made Correa a six-year, $120MM offer and then followed with a five-year, $125MM proposal, according to the former All-Star and AL Rookie of the Year (via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). But Correa doesn’t believe the Astros were ever all that serious about extending him, as he said (per McTaggart): “There were not really any negotiations. The way I feel is it’s another year with the Houston Astros and I’m going to go out there and do my best and try to bring a championship to the city.” Correa added that Houston “made it clear to me they don’t believe in long contracts, they don’t believe in big contracts.”

    The Astros have handed out “long” and “big” deals in the past to the likes of second baseman Jose Altuve and third baseman Alex Bregman, and they did give right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. a five-year, $85MM extension last week. As of now, though, it doesn’t seem Correa will join them in sticking around for the long haul.

    Going forward, odds are against Correa’s contract approaching Lindor’s, but as an immensely talented 26-year-old, the former No. 1 overall pick should earn a significant payday if he stays healthy and rebounds from his so-so 2020 performance. Correa did miss a good amount of time with various injuries in each season from 2017-19, though his production has mostly been excellent since he debuted in 2015. So far, Correa has batted .276/.353/.480 (127 wRC+) with 107 home runs and 19.4 fWAR in 2,583 plate appearances. Barring any in-season extensions, Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Javier Baez will battle to earn the largest deal among free-agent shortstops over the winter.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[No Movement In Extension Talks Between Astros, Carlos Correa]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=417435 2021-04-01T01:18:05Z 2021-04-01T01:18:45Z MARCH 31: The Astros haven’t budged off their six-year, $120MM offer, Heyman hears (Twitter link). With no movement from the team in recent days and Correa unwilling to negotiate in-season, it seems he’ll hit free agency at the end of the year.

    MARCH 30: There remains a chance that the Astros will sign Correa to an extension by the start of the season, as general manager James Click told McTaggart and other reporters, “We had some more conversations over the weekend so we’re going to keep at it.”

    MARCH 25: Correa isn’t impressed by the Astros’ offer. Speaking to reporters (including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com and Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle), he called the proposal “really low” and said he’s preparing as if he will become a free agent next offseason. Correa added that he will “absolutely not” push back his April 1 deadline for extension negotiations.

    MARCH 24: The Astros took care of an important piece of business Wednesday when they agreed to a five-year, $85MM contract extension with right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. He’s no longer scheduled to reach the open market next winter as a result, but shortstop Carlos Correa is one of the key Astros still on track to become a free agent then. Unfortunately for Houston, it doesn’t appear close to a new contract with Correa. The Astros offered him a six-year extension worth approximately $120MM, but “there’s no sign of traction,” Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.

    If Correa agreed to that amount, it would have matched the extension fellow shortstop Xander Bogaerts signed with the Red Sox going into the 2019 season. But the deal has always looked like a team-friendly amount for Bogaerts, who was then entering his age-27 season and coming off a monster year.

    There is an argument that Correa should take a large offer now, as he has battled durability issues over the past few seasons and is coming off a year in which he hit an uncharacteristically mediocre .264/.326/.383 with five home runs in 221 plate appearances. On the other hand, the former No. 1 overall pick went into last season a .277/.356/.489 hitter with 102 HRs over 2,362 trips to the plate, and he won’t turn 27 until September. Therefore, it would be understandable for Correa to bet on a rebound this year and vie for a much more lucrative contract as part of a loaded free-agent class. Along with Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javier Baez and Marcus Semien are among shortstops who are in line to become free agents after this season.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Astros Notes: Odorizzi, Valdez, Baez, Scrubb, James]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=421243 2021-03-31T02:51:14Z 2021-03-31T02:51:14Z Astros’ brass met with reporters (including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com and Jake Kaplan of the Athletic) in recent days and provided updates on a host of sidelined pitchers. Righty Jake Odorizzi will make his regular-season debut sometime during the team’s initial homestand, which runs from April 8-14. The Astros inked Odorizzi to a two-year, $23MM guarantee in free agency, but he’s behind the 8-ball after sitting on the open market until earlier this month.

    The Odorizzi signing came on the heels of Framber Valdez’s fractured finger early in Spring Training. At the time, there had been fear the left-hander would require surgery and miss the entire season. Valdez is attempting to rehab the injury without going under the knife, and it seems the early returns are positive. Pitching coach Brent Strom called the latest reports on Valdez’s health “very, very exciting and very good,” although the Astros have yet to provide word on a potential target date for his return.

    Houston is also without a few key relievers due to health situations. Righty Pedro Báez – like Odorizzi, one of Houston’s offseason additions – won’t be ready for major league action for at least the first couple weeks of the season. The team hopes he’ll be back on the mound in late April. Báez, whom the Astros signed to a two-year, $12.5MM guarantee, has been on the COVID-19 injured list for three weeks. Fellow right-hander Andre Scrubb is looking at a mid-April return after leaving a recent Cactus League game with shoulder soreness.

    Another righty, Josh James, is targeting late May or early June for a return of his own. The 28-year-old underwent surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip at the end of last October.  The procedure initially came with a six-to-eight month recovery timetable, so it seems James is right on schedule.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[COVID Notes: 3/30/21]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=422253 2021-03-30T18:41:59Z 2021-03-30T18:41:59Z The latest on coronavirus-related situations around the sport…

    • The Astros announced that Myles Straw, Abraham Toro, and Garrett Stubbs have rejoined the team after clearing COVID-19 protocols.  (MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart was among those to report the news.)  The trio were absent for contract-tracing purposes in the wake of another positive test within Houston’s camp.
    • Matt Barnes’ positive COVID-19 test over the weekend was determined to be a false positive or a non-infectious positive, and the reliever has been cleared to return to Red Sox camp.  Barnes tested negative several times before being allowed to rejoin the team, and with only a few days of action missed, Barnes tells Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe and other reporters that he is ready for Opening Day.
    • Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter tested positive for COVID-19, manager A.J. Hinch told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jason Beck) yesterday.  Other coaches are out of camp while contact tracing and further tests are administered, though it appears to be somewhat precautionary, as Hinch said that “no one else — player, staff — has been impacted or affected by this.”  The Tigers have yet to decide who will act as on the on-field pitching coach while Fetter is quarantined.  Fetter is entering his first season with the organization after previously working as the University of Michigan’s pitching coach.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Astros Monitoring Outfield, Pitching Markets]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=419889 2021-03-28T18:16:10Z 2021-03-28T18:16:10Z
  • The Astros are looking for possible outfield or pitching additions as spring camps draw to a close, manager Dusty Baker told reporters (including Chandler Rome of The Houston Chronicle).  While every team keeps an eye on other clubs’ cuts or waiver moves at this time of year, the Astros may be more inclined than usual to make a move, given both some recent absences due to COVID concerns and the fact that outfield depth was already something of an issue.  Chas McCormick looks like the favorite for the fourth outfielder job, and Houston would have to make a 40-man move to include either Jose Siri or Bryan De La Cruz on the active roster.  None of this trio has any MLB experience, and starting center fielder Myles Straw could be facing some time on the COVID-related injury list.
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