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Jorge Bonifacio suspended 80 games for PEDs

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Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has been suspended for 80 games without pay, the league announced Saturday. Bonifacio tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone; his first such violation. General manager Dayton Moore issued a statement following the decision (via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan):

This obviously [is] a very disappointing situation for the Royals, our fans and Jorge. He is an incredible person who just made a mistake. Jorge will have our full support as he deals with the consequences of this violation.

Manager Ned Yost added that he felt “kind of sick to [his] stomach” thinking about the suspension, given Bonifacio’s role on the team and the connection he made with members of the organization.

The 24-year-old was in the mix to begin the season as the Royals’ starting right fielder, a responsibility he’ll forfeit until June at the earliest. He’s coming off of his first major league season with the club, during which he batted .255/.320/.432 with 17 home runs and a .752 OPS in 422 plate appearances. In his absence, the Royals should have an easier time assembling an outfield from some combination of Jon Jay, Alex Gordon, Jorge Soler, Paulo Orlando, Hunter Dozier and Bubba Starling.

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.