Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard are back

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Rangers DH Prince Fielder hit two home runs in Friday night’s win against the Yankees and he homered again in a blowout win on Saturday. The slugger, who missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing neck surgery, now has eight home runs on the year with 30 RBI and a .351/.407/.544 triple-slash line.

Meanwhile, Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard homered again in a rout of the Nationals on Saturday, giving him three in his last four games and 10 on the season along with 23 RBI and a .270/.316/.554 triple-slash line. Howard suffered a torn Achilles at the end of the 2011 NLDS and tore his meniscus in 2013. He hasn’t shown power at this level since 2009, when he hit 45 home runs.

Fielder and Howard represent two of baseball’s worst contracts, so their respective teams are happy they’re seeing at least some positive return on their investments. Fielder was signed as a free agent to a nine-year, $214 million deal by the Tigers in January 2012. He joined the Rangers along with $30 million in a swap for Ian Kinsler. $144 million over six years remains, including his 2015 salary. Howard signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension with the Phillies in April 2010, two years before he was eligible for free agency. $60 million over two years ($25 million annually in ’15 and ’16 plus a $10 million buyout for ’17) remains on Howard’s deal.

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.