Cardinals are “exploring” trades for Cole Hamels or David Price, signing Max Scherzer

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From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi

The St. Louis Cardinals say they like their starting rotation. But that is not preventing them from pursuing a major upgrade.

The team is exploring trades for left-handers Cole Hamels and David Price and the possibility of signing free-agent right-hander Max Scherzer, according to major-league sources.

St. Louis has five excellent starters in Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, and Carlos Martinez. Young left-hander Marco Gonzales is another rotation option and Jaime Garcia is expected to be recovered from his latest shoulder surgery by the beginning of the 2015 season.

But there are serious question marks surrounding Wainwright, who needed a cleanup procedure on his right elbow in late October, and Wacha, who logged only 107 innings in 2014 due to right shoulder troubles.

Hamels is due $94 million over the next four seasons and carries a $24 million vesting option (or $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout) for 2019. Price is set to become a free agent next offseason.

Scherzer, a native of St. Louis, is thought to be seeking a contract worth close to $200 million.

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.