Roberto Clemente Award nominees announced

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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins shared the award last year. This year’s nominees were just announced:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves – Jason Grilli
Baltimore Orioles – Brian Matusz
Boston Red Sox – Brock Holt
Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo
Chicago White Sox – David Robertson
Cincinnati Reds – J.J. Hoover
Cleveland Indians – Carlos Carrasco
Colorado Rockies – Kyle Kendrick
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – George Springer
Kansas City Royals – Alex Gordon
Los Angeles Angels – Hector Santiago
Los Angeles Dodgers – Adrian Gonzalez
Miami Marlins – Dee Gordon
Milwaukee Brewers – Jonathan Lucroy
Minnesota Twins – Torii Hunter
New York Mets – Curtis Granderson
New York Yankees – Mark Teixeira
Oakland Athletics – Stephen Vogt
Philadelphia Phillies – Ryan Howard
Pittsburgh Pirates – Andrew McCutchen
St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright
San Diego Padres – Andrew Cashner
San Francisco Giants – Javier Lopez
Seattle Mariners – Charlie Furbush
Tampa Bay Rays – Chris Archer
Texas Rangers – Adrian Beltre
Toronto Blue Jays – Jose Bautista
Washington Nationals – Denard Span

There’s a fan vote component to this award, in which you go to the Clemente Award website (which is not yet active, actually, but will be later this week) and vote for one of the nominees. The winner of the fan vote basically gets a one vote head start, with that vote added in to votes cast by Rob Manfred, Vera Clemente and a number of former players and some media people.

Sort of a mismosh, I guess, but it’s named after a great guy, so we’ll let it slide.

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.