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Marcus Stroman did not enjoy his arbitration hearing

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman had his arbitration hearing. He lost. He requested $6.9 million and the Blue Jays countered with $6.5 million. Somewhat surprising given how good a 2017 season Stroman had, but arbitration can be like that sometimes. As I recently noted, arbitration is a somewhat complicated process with some often counterintuitive forces at work and thus you can’t just go with “good player should win, bad player should lose” and expect to predict the outcomes with much accuracy.

As I also noted in that post, one weird part of arbitration is that a player has to sit there in the hearing room and listen to his own club talk smack about him. Maybe it’s not blatantly insulting, but the club’s lawyers do cite the problems with a player, his failures and his flaws and argue that, as a result, he should not get the money he’s asking for.

Based on the outcome, the Blue Jays’ lawyers did an effective job of that, but it didn’t leave a great taste in Stroman’s mouth:

Whatever motivates you, Marcus.

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.