March 2020 - Baseball Wiretap

Dr. James Andrews Temporarily Suspends Tommy John Surgeries

Mar 31, 2020 11:37 AM

Dr. James Andrews has decided to temporarily suspend performing Tommy John elbow surgeries at his medical facility in Florida due to COVID-19. 

"We are not performing any non-urgent or non-emergent procedures, including Tommy John surgery, in compliance with the governor's executive order," the spokesperson for the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine told the Boston Globe. "We are adhering to these restrictions and all such cases are suspended at this time."

Chris Sale underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles on Monday.

Boston Globe

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Nationals' Spring Facility Converted Into Testing Site

Mar 31, 2020 8:20 AM

The Washington Nationals' spring facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, is the latest to be turned into a testing area to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our [spring] complex is being used as a coronavirus testing site until further notice," Mike Rizzo said. "So we're going to shut it down to all players and staff completely while the county and National Guard use it for testing."

At first, spring training facilities were left open during the shutdown, but with more shelter-in-place orders, parking lots and stadiums are being repurposed.

Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FedEx Field in Washington and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, are just a few of the others that have been turned into testing centers.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Players Concerned As MLB Ponders Compressed Season

Mar 31, 2020 8:16 AM

As Major League Baseball considers various ways to create a schedule for whenever the coronavirus pandemic subsides, players have shown concern about what that could mean for their health.

"The player safety piece is a big thing," Tucker Barnhart said.

Barnhart is a union representative for the Cincinnati Reds.

"Moving forward, I don't think you can do things that are going to compromise the integrity of next season, as well. What I mean by that is forcing the issue of getting so many games in that you risk injury, and you risk major injury to players, because you are trying to get in as many games as you can," he said.

"This is all assumptions and thoughts from me specifically -- it's not from the union -- but you're going to have to protect us as players," Barnhart continued. "And if you can't do that, I think that would be where I personally would kind of draw the line."

Associated Press

Tags: Misc Rumor

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MLBPA: 'No Door Is Closed' For 2020 All-Star Game

Mar 30, 2020 8:44 AM

Amid all the possible contingency plans for the 2020 Major League Baseball season, the fate of the All-Star Game hangs in the balance.

The festivities are scheduled for July 10-13 at Dodger Stadium.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark told reporters there has been no decision regarding the All-Star Game yet.

"The players are open to having a discussion about just about everything. Obviously the calendar is going to dictate a lot of what can and cannot be done. But right now no door is closed," Clark said.

MLB and the MLBPA both want to play as many games as possible, which could mean canceling the All-Star Game and using the four-day All-Star break to make up regular season games.

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

Tags: All-Star, Misc Rumor

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Scott Boras: Setting Draft Limits Sends 'Wrong Message'

Mar 30, 2020 8:36 AM

Scott Boras doesn't agree with the agreement reached between Major League Baseball and the players' union to possibly shorten the draft and limit the financial pool for amateur players.

Under terms of the agreement, Rob Manfred has the discretion to shorten the 2020 draft from 40 rounds to as few as five rounds, according to sources.

"For owners to do this to these young men, who are so passionate about baseball, is something that they need to examine their conscience," Boras said. "More kids will have to go to [college]. And anyone not taken among the top 200 players will have to go back to school."

Players drafted in 2020 will get only $100,000 of their bonus this year. The remaining amount will be split into payments made in July 2021 and July 2022, according to sources.

"I'm a big proponent of college, so I want these kids to get their education, but what really bothers me is that kids outside the fifth round deserve their bonuses," Boras added. "And now they're freezing their [bonuses] for the next two years, and are paying them late."

ESPN

Tags: Draft, Misc Rumor

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Two Cubs Employees Test Positive For COVID-19

Mar 30, 2020 8:27 AM

Two Chicago Cubs employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The pair attended an annual training session at Wrigley Field on March 8.

According to a club spokesman, one was hospitalized and the other was recovering at home.

The Chicago Sun-Times first reported the positive results.

Associated Press

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

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MLB Has Completed Investigation Into 2018 Red Sox

Mar 27, 2020 8:54 AM

Rob Manfred says Major League Baseball has completed its investigation into allegations that the Boston Red Sox stole signs illegally during the 2018 season.

"We are done with the investigation," Manfred said. "There's been a delay in terms of producing a written report, just because I, frankly, have not had time to turn to it with the other issues. But we will get a Boston report out before we resume play."

Major League Baseball was supposed to begin play on Thursday.

R.J. Anderson/CBS Sports

Tags: Boston Red Sox, Misc Rumor

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White Sox Send Michael Kopech To Triple-A

Mar 27, 2020 8:49 AM

The Chicago White Sox have optioned Michael Kopech to Triple-A Charlotte.

The 23-year-old missed last season after he had Tommy John surgery in September 2018, but he hit triple-digits on the radar gun during his first spring training appearance on March 10.

Chicago acquired Kopech in the December 2016 trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.

Associated Press

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Misc Rumor

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Fanatics To Make Medical Gear Instead Of Uniforms

Mar 27, 2020 8:34 AM

Fanatics, the company that manufactures uniforms for Major League Baseball, has suspended production on jerseys and is instead using the fabric to make masks and gowns for hospitals in Pennsylvania and nearby states.

Michael Rubin, founder and executive chairman of Fanatics, came up with the idea to turn the 360,000-square-foot facility in Easton, Pennsylvania, into a factory for the COVID-19 virus fight.

While Rubin considered how he could make it happen, St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, reached out late last week about the possibility of the company manufacturing masks. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro each contacted Rubin over the weekend and told Rubin the state was in "dire need" of more masks and gowns.

Fanatics developed a prototype that was approved by the state's emergency agency and by Tuesday the company halted production of all baseball jerseys.

Associated Press

Tags: Misc Rumor

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MLB, MLBPA Agree To Deal On Stoppage

Mar 27, 2020 8:30 AM

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have agreed to a deal on salary and service-time issues, allowing baseball to prepare for a season delayed indefinitely by the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources.

The agreement came after nearly two weeks of negotiations that involved players, owners, agents, executives, union officials and commissioner's office staff.

Both sides want to play as many games as possible, with an eye on returning to training camps in mid-May and starting games as early as June -- even if they are played with no fans in attendance.

The flexibility of both sides was seen in the willingness to extend the regular season into October, play neutral-site playoff games in November and add doubleheaders to the schedule.

Players pushed to receive, and did win, a full year of service time, which counts days toward free agency, arbitration and pension, even in the event of a canceled season.

Jeff Passan/ESPN

Tags: Misc Rumor

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MLB Draft Likely To Be Held In July, May Be Shortened

Kiley McDaniel/ESPN

MLB, Union Could Agree To Begin Play In June

Jeff Passan/ESPN

Scott Boras Submits Proposal With Playoffs Running Into December

Mike DiGiovanna/Los Angeles Times

Blue Jays GM Floats Idea Of Seven-Inning Doubleheaders

ESPN

Rob Manfred: 'Nothing Off Table' Regarding Baseball's Return

Jeff Passan/ESPN

Vin Scully: 'We Can Certainly Fight Through' COVID-19 Pandemic

Bill Plaschke/L.A. Times

Astros Claim To Have 'Expressed Sincere Apologies' In Court Filings

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

MLB, Union Weighing Key Issues For Potential Start Of Season

Jeff Passan/ESPN

Noah Syndergaard To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

Jeff Passan/ESPN

Giancarlo Stanton 'Ready To Go' For Yankees

ESPN

Pirates Provide 400 Pizzas For Pittsburgh Hospitals

ESPN

Red Sox Attorney Denies Sign-Stealing In 2018

Daniel Kaplan/The Athletic

Blue Jays President: Four Weeks Needed Before Season Opener

Associated Press

Aaron Judge Also Dealt With Collapsed Lung

Marly Rivera/ESPN

Chris Sale Opts To Have Tommy John Surgery

ESPN

MLB May Skip 2020 Draft To Save Money During Shutdown

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

Tyler Beede To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

Associated Press

Bud Black Open To Doubleheaders When Play Resumes

ESPN

Mariners Tell Players To Enter Offseason Mode

Associated Press

Chris Sale Begins Throwing Program

Matt Snyder/CBS Sports