The Braves and Angels swap prospects

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The Braves and Angels agreed to a trade involving prospects this evening, with left-hander Ricardo Sanchez headed to Atlanta in exchange for third baseman Kyle Kubitza and right-hander Nate Hyatt.

Sanchez was recently ranked as the Angels’ No. 2 prospect by Baseball America, but he doesn’t turn 18 until April, so he’s a long ways off. Still, new Braves president John Hart continues to add high-upside young arms to his system. Sanchez had a 3.49 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 38 2/3 innings last season in rookie ball. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that he throws 94-95 mph with his fastball and has a very good curveball.

Kubitza, 24, was added to the Angels’ 40-man roster in November after batting .295/.405/.470 with eight home runs, 55 RBI, and 21 stolen bases over 132 games with Double-A Mississippi last season. According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said that he believes Kubitza will be part of the major league roster in 2016. It’s worth noting that third baseman David Freese is set to become a free agent after 2015.

Hyatt, 24, is a hard-thrower who posted a 2.71 ERA with three saves and a 73/27 K/BB ratio over 63 innings last season with High-A Lynchburg.

The Angels designated first baseman Marc Krauss for assignment in order to clear a spot for Kubitza on their 40-man roster. Krauss, who was claimed off waivers from the Astros last month, owns a .200/.274/.341 batting line with 10 home runs over 119 games in the majors.

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.