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Report: Juan Soto tests positive for Covid-19, will miss opener vs. Yankees

The Nationals budding star, Juan Soto will be out of commission for the near future.

Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto doubles during the fourth inning of an exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 3:49 p.m.: Soto’s positive is from a test taken on Thursday. Other players tested that day came back negative.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: The Nationals get their latest test results back on Saturday and players who were closer to Soto will get another test on Friday.

The Washington Nationals open their 2020 season on Thursday against the New York Yankees, and they will be missing a key weapon on offense. Outfielder Juan Soto has tested positive for Covid-19 and will have to miss the opener, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. He was asymptomatic at the time of the positive result and will now have to test negative on back-to-back tests before he can rejoin the team.

There is no word yet on what this means for the rest of the Nationals roster. If Soto tested positive after being around the other players in a game or practice, even with social distancing, it creates some questions for the rest of the roster.

The Nationals had to get permission from the DC government to not implement the city’s quarantine rules. Players who have been exposed to Covid-19 have to quarantine in their residence for 14 days, but can still come to the ballpark. This raises questions about whether the Nationals need another round of testing today, what it means for Thursday’s opener, and what it means for the Nationals traveling to road games.

The Yankees were -139 favorites for the opener, with the Nationals installed at +120. The money line now reads Yankees -157 and Nationals +138. The Yankees -1.5 run line improved from +125 to +108, while the Nationals +1.5 run line moved from -148 to -129.