Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is at it again, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the club has signed veteran reliever Steve Cishek to a two-year contract. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is worth $10 million and carries incentives which could push it to $17 million.
The Mariners traded for Joaquin Benoit earlier this offseason, but Crasnick hears that Cishek is expected to be the team’s new closer.
Cishek has plenty of closing experience from his time with the Marlins, but he lost his job early on in 2015 and was eventually traded to the Cardinals in July. The 29-year-old had better results down the stretch, posting a 2.31 ERA over 27 appearances, though his 20/13 K/BB ratio in 23 1/3 innings wasn’t overly impressive.
Cishek made $6.65 million in 2015 and was projected for another raise via arbitration this winter, so the Cardinals recently non-tendered him.
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.