Rays acquire Ben Francisco from Astros

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The Astros had no real use for Ben Francisco after acquiring him from the Blue Jays in last month’s 10-player deal, so they moved him right along Friday, sending him to Tampa Bay for a player to be named.

Francisco played in 31 games in his six weeks with the Astros and hit .247/.289/.365 in 85 at-bats. That’s more action that he saw in 3 1/2 months with the Jays earlier this season, as he hit .240/.296/.380 in 50 at-bats for Toronto.

Francisco will likely go back to seeing less playing time in Tampa Bay. He doesn’t have much of a platoon split, so he’s only so useful as a starter against lefties. Still, as a fifth outfielder who can play pretty good defense in the corners, he’s worth the roster spot.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.