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Mets narrow down their GM candidates to three

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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the New York Mets have narrowed their list of general manager candidates to three: Chaim Bloom, Doug Melvin and Brodie Van Wagenen. All other candidates are out. They will conduct call-back interviews beginning tomorrow, which presumably means owner Fred Wilpon coming in and making the final decision.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Melvin is the front-runner based on his experience. Melvin, of course, ran the Milwaukee Brewers for years, transitioning out of the GM job and into an advisory role after the 2015 season. Before stepping back, Melvin was responsible for acquiring Corey Knebel and Josh Hader and re-acquiring Jeremy Jeffress, each of which played an important part on the 2018 team. It is thought that Fred Wilpon prefers a seasoned “baseball man” in the team’s GM roll, so if Wilpon gets his way, the 66-year-old Melvin will be the choice.

Fred Wilpon’s son Jeff, however, is thought to prefer a younger, analytical type. If he somehow gets his way, you’d figure it’d be Bloom, who is the vice president of baseball operations for the Rays. He was a front-runner for the Twins job when it was open. He certainly knows how to help build a competitive team on the cheap, which one presumes is what the Wilpons want.

Van Wagenen is an agent at CAA. That would be an unusual choice given the fairly adversarial relationship that exists between agents and clubs, but he’s obviously shown the Mets something if he’s a finalist.

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.