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Baltimore Orioles reach one-year deal with recovering Trey Mancini

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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles agreed to a one-year deal with recovering slugger Trey Mancini on Friday but haven’t come to terms yet with outfielder Anthony Santander.

The Orioles and Santander exchanged salary arbitration figures Friday, with Baltimore offering $2.1 million and Santander asking for $2,475,000. The sides can still settle on a number until an arbitrator hears the case and makes a ruling next month.

Mancini missed the entire 2020 season while recovering from Stage 3 colon cancer. He signed on deadline day last January for $4.75 million and was preparing for another solid season before being diagnosed with cancer. The first baseman/outfielder was voted team MVP in 2019 after batting .291 with 35 home runs and 97 RBIs.

Mancini, 28, has been working out this offseason and expects to play a full season this year on a team in the midst of a significant rebuild. Before being sidelined, he averaged 28 homers over his three full seasons and remains one of Baltimore’s most potent offensive threats.

Santander is arbitration-eligible for the first time, and the timing works well for the budding outfielder. Although limited to 37 games in 2020 because of injuries, he hit 11 homers and 13 doubles in only 153 at-bats and drove in 32 runs. He received around $550,000 in 2020 and should receive a significant raise in 2021.

His breakout season came in 2019, when he batted .261 with 20 homers and 59 RBIs in 93 games.

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Jose Abreu tests positive for COVID-19, but Chicago White Sox say star 1B is ‘completely asymptomatic’

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Chicago White Sox star first baseman Jose Abreu has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be away from the club for the next several days.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn announced Wednesday that Abreu, the reigning American League MVP, is “completely asymptomatic” and “frustrated.”

Hahn said that Abreu believes he “contracted a mild case” of the coronavirus last month, a belief that is “reinforced by the presence of COVID antibodies in additional testing.”

“Other than being frustrated, Jose feels great and, like the rest of us, is looking forward to when he rejoins the club in the not too distant future,” Hahn said.

Abreu, 34, is entering his eighth season with the White Sox and is expected to be the centerpiece of Chicago’s powerful lineup.

The three-time All-Star led the White Sox to their first postseason appearance since 2008 last season, when he batted .317 with 19 home runs and led the majors with 60 RBIs.

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Minnesota Twins top prospect Royce Lewis out for 2021 season with torn ACL

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Minnesota Twins shortstop Royce Lewis, considered the organization’s top prospect, has a torn ACL in his right knee that will sideline him for the 2021 season.

President of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Wednesday that Lewis was diagnosed with the injury during physical exams upon reporting to spring training. The 21-year-old Lewis, the first overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft, will have reconstructive surgery Friday in Minnesota before returning to camp to begin a rehabilitation process of nine-to-12 months.

Lewis recently was ranked by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel as the top prospect in Minnesota’s system and the No. 15 overall prospect in baseball. He finished the 2019 season at Double-A.

Because the pandemic wiped out all minor league action in 2020, Lewis will go more than two full years without a game. The Twins signed Andrelton Simmons to play shortstop this season, and Lewis was not expected to be in the majors in 2021.

Lewis told the team he first noticed discomfort in the knee after lateral running drills this month as part of his training regimen. Then, during the winter storms that recently hit Texas, Lewis slipped on ice in the Dallas area where he lives and experienced further soreness. The Twins were unable to determine exactly how or when the ligament was torn.

“He’s got a smile on his face, knows he’s going to have a rehab year ahead, knows he’s going to have to put in a lot of work, but he’s prepared and ready to do that,” Falvey said, “and I know he’s looking forward to getting back on the field.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Kings of Command: Breakout pitchers to draft in fantasy baseball

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Which overlooked pitchers have the skill set to come up with a big season? Tristan H. Cockcroft digs deep into the numbers to present his annual “Kings of Command.”

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