Ervin Santana working his way back from 80-game suspension

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Ervin Santana signed a four-year, $55 million contract with the Twins as a free agent this offseason and then got suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drugs before the end of spring training.

He’s eligible to return in early July and currently working out at the Twins’ extended spring training complex in Florida, with Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting that Santana will join the Triple-A Rochester roster for a start Saturday.

Santana is expected to throw around 90 pitches, so he’s pretty much fully stretched out with a couple weeks to go before the suspension ends. He’ll almost surely join the Twins’ rotation immediately.

Right now July 5 versus the Royals looks like the targeted return date for Santana, who pitched for Kansas City in 2013.

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.