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Braves claim René Rivera off waivers from Angels

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The Angels announced that catcher René Rivera was claimed on waivers by the Braves.

Rivera, 35, suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee in May and didn’t return until a couple weeks ago. He had been the backup to Martin Maldonado, but Maldonado was traded to the Astros near the end of July. With Rivera now out of the picture in Anaheim, Francisco Arcia figures to take over starting duties with José Briceño backing him up.

Rivera hit .244/.287/.439 with four home runs and 11 RBI in 87 plate appearances this season. He will rank third on the Braves’ depth chart at catcher behind Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers.

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.