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Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes, right, tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on the restricted list on Saturday. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has tested positive for COVID-19, Manager Alex Cora said Saturday morning. Multiple other players, including right-hander Matt Andriese, are away from the team because of contact tracing.

“With the guidelines and the protocols, it’s a fire drill now,” Cora said.

Barnes, who was one of two candidates (along with Adam Ottavino) to be named the team’s closer, will not be on the Opening Day roster when the season begins Thursday. He is asymptomatic but may be away from the team for up to 10 days before being cleared to return to action.

Cora wouldn’t reveal how many other players are in contact tracing protocols but is hopeful the Red Sox will avoid a large coronavirus outbreak. Players and coaches are taking rapid tests Saturday morning in Fort Myers while the league uses data from Kinexon tracking to determine who was a close contact of Barnes.

“We’re going through the rules and days and all that,” Cora said. “It’s Saturday. Opening Day is in (five) days if I’m not mistaken. Now, there’s testing on a daily basis with some of these guys. I don’t want to get into details, but there’s a chance that some of the guys who are in contact tracing might be able to be on the Opening Day roster. Some of them won’t. We just need to get more information throughout the day, communicate with MLB and the committee and go from there.”

YANKEES: Major league home run champion Luke Voit needs knee surgery to repair a partial meniscus tear, an injury that opened a roster spot for Jay Bruce as a converted first baseman.

Voit will not have any baseball activities for three weeks after the operation on his left knee, Manager Aaron Boone said. Voit is expected back in May.

“Let’s have the surgery, see how the early days are and then we will be able to evaluate,” Boone said.

The injury to Voit, who hit 22 homers in the pandemic-shortened season, played a role in the decision to add Bruce, who attended spring training with a minor league contract.

BRAVES: Kung Fu Panda has made the opening day roster for Atlanta.

The team made a flurry of moves Saturday to complete its 26-man group, most notably promoting nonroster infielder Pablo Sandoval to the big league roster.

The 34-year-old Sandoval is a two-time All-Star and 2012 World Series MVP looking to revive his career in a bench role with the Braves. The portly switch-hitter earned his spot with a strong spring, hitting .429 with four RBI in 35 at-bats.

NATIONALS: Carter Kieboom, a first-round draft pick and the expected starting third baseman for Washington, was sent to the minor leagues.


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