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Jorge Mateo tests positive for COVID-19

Infielder recently acquired Jorge Mateo Tested positive for COVID-19 on hiring tests, Padres manager Jayce Tingler revealed to reporters today in a Zoom call (Twitter connection via Dennis Lin of The Athletic). He has had to deal with mild symptoms, including loss of smell and taste. Mateo, acquired by Athletics last week in exchange for a player to be named later, was not in Petco Park and was isolated from his test result. Once he is negative on two occasions, at least 24 hours apart, he will be authorized to join his new club.

It’s an unfortunate start to Mateo̵

7;s tenure with the Padres, although it’s encouraging to hear Tingler report that the 25-year-old is already starting to feel a little better. If Mateo is able to fully recover in time for the season opening, he will likely land on the roster on Padres’ opening day. It is out of the minor league options and, if healthy, cannot be sent to the team’s alternative training site without being exempted.

Mateo’s trade came before the hiring tests started, so it’s not possible that the A’s were reasonably expected to know him (if he was even positive at the time of the deal), but the trade still underlines the importance of a quick delivery time on tests. The delays were important this week, although MLB tried to minimize them, and one can only imagine the complications that could arise if a player were to test positive results in the season immediately after being transferred to a new club. The volume of exchanges in general could decrease this year, given the unprecedented circumstances in which the front offices operate, but having as close as possible a real-time indicator of a player’s health will be essential to allow transactions.

It does not seem insensitive; minimizing the health risks of all players, coaches, staff and their families is obviously the main reason why tests need to be processed quickly. But if shifts are to be allowed, as currently expected, the types of delays we’ve seen this week will need to be smoothed out to ensure the orderly run of the season.

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