Sonny Gray
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Brewers, Padres remain active in Sonny Gray trade talks

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The market for Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray may be starting to shrink at last. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Brewers are still “prominent” in trade discussions for the right-hander, while the Reds have faded into the background somewhat after acquiring southpaw Alex Wood from the Dodgers and Tanner Roark from the Nationals. MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell adds that the Padres are “very much a part of trade talks” as well, though the club will likely look to the free agent market for at least one starting pitcher this offseason.

Gray’s stat line left much to be desired following a mediocre 2018 season, during which he went 11-9 in 23 starts with a combined 4.90 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9, and 1.7 fWAR through 130 1/3 innings out of the rotation and bullpen. It’s worth noting, however, that most of his poor performances were staged within the hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium (4-4, 6.98 ERA, 1.29 SO/BB), while he presented well on the road (7-5, 3.17 ERA, 3.55 SO/BB) and may yet return to the sub-3.00 ERA, 3.0+ fWAR totals of years past.

Given his extreme splits, it appears the righty would be significantly more comfortable in the pitcher-friendly PETCO Park over Milwaukee’s Miller Park, though that’s far from the only consideration here. Reports from the last several weeks indicate that the Yankees’ asking price is still fairly high, as they’ve demanded everything from top-20 prospects to “high-end major league talent” in return for the starter. Even if the Brewers or Padres are willing to meet those demands, they’ll have to hope for a productive year from the 29-year-old in his walk year or else plan on shopping him around come July.

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.