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How timing and circumstance finally allowed the Toronto Blue Jays to land a star

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All along, the plan of the Toronto Blue Jays had been to start looking for opportunities — either in trades or in free-agent signings. The priority was to entrench the team’s core of promising young players — Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and others — in the big leagues, and then add to them. In front-office meetings in recent years, they spoke of the 2020 trade deadline and the offseason that followed as perhaps the first windows to augment the roster with established players.

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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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