Royals and Yordano Ventura agree to five-year extension

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UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the deal is done, pending a physical. It’s for $23 million guaranteed.

10:35 a.m. ET: Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports that it will be a five-year deal with two club options. It will begin this season, so the Royals would buy out all of Ventura’s arbitration seasons while the options would cover his first two years of free agency. The guarantee is expected to be around $22 million, per Passan.

8:55 a.m. ET: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Royals and right-hander Yordano Ventura are in “deep discussions” on a five-year extension which includes an option for a sixth year. The deal would guarantee him north of $20 million.

Ventura is coming off a 3.20 ERA and 159/69 K/BB ratio over 183 innings as a rookie last season. One of the hardest throwers in the majors, the 23-year-old has already had some health concerns, but it appears that he’s just scratching the surface with his potential. The Royals have a knack for getting team-friendly deals done and this would be quite a coup.

Passan compares this deal to Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, who signed a six-year, $32.4 million extension last February with the same amount of service time. Chris Archer, who signed a six-year, $25 million extension with the Rays last April, is another prominent example. Ventura is under team control through 2019, so if the extension kicks in this year, it would cover all of his arbitration seasons and one year of free agency.

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.