Atlanta’s Chris Johnson has drawn only 16 starts this season at third base and 11 at first base, and he’s batting .258/.297/.342 in 128 plate appearances when he does play. He wants a change of scenery, as he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s David O’Brien this week …
“I’d be lying if I said I understood it,” Johnson said of his diminished playing time. “It just seems like there was a point from the end of last year where, you know, the ship has kind of sailed, and it was just hard. So hopefully something (a trade) gets done.”
Johnson had a .653 OPS, 10 home runs, and 58 RBI in 153 games last season as the Braves’ everyday third baseman and an .816 OPS with 12 homers and 68 RBI in 142 games the year before.
Johnson is owed $7.5 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017, so it may be a little tough to find a taker.
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.