Royals “haven’t discussed James Shields for a while now”

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James Shields finally appears close to making a decision, with multiple reports suggesting that he has long-term offers in hand and could choose a team by the end of this week.

There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the process, but it sounds like Shields re-signing with the Royals can be crossed off the list.

Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that Royals officials “say they haven’t discussed Shields for a while now” and are “focused on” getting the draft pick compensation for his departure.

Kansas City acquired Shields from Tampa Bay in 2013–along with Wade Davis–and he made 34 starts in both seasons with the Royals, logging a total of 456 innings with a 3.18 ERA.

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.