Fernando Rodney signs with the Padres

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This has been rumored for several days, with reports last week that the Padres were “closing in” on a deal for Fernando Rodney, but now it is actually happening: Jon Heyman reports that San Diego has an agreement with the ex-Cubs and Mariners closer.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that it’s a one-year deal with an option, which can max out to around $7 million with performance bonuses. Not too bad for a guy who, when he’s on, is pretty darn good.

Of course the issue is whether he’ll be on. Rodney posted a 5.68 ERA in 51 innings for the Mariners to begin last season, but then turned things around following a late-August trade to the Cubs. In Chicago he posted a 0.75 ERA and 15/4 K/BB ratio in 14 outings. Maybe that was a blip. Maybe he has quite a bit left and just needed a change of scenery.

Rodney is certainly positioned to rebuild his value in San Diego. While the Padres aren’t likely going to compete in 2016, he’ll likely have the closer role all to himself, what with Craig Kimbrel traded to Boston, Joaquin Benoit traded to Seattle and Brandon Maurer moved to the rotation. Basically, if there is a save to be had or blown, it’ll be Rodney’s to register it or blow it.

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.