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Corey Kluber trade looking less likely

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One of the weirdest thing this offseason has been the Indians’ reported desire to trade ace Corey Kluber. They have engaged with the Reds, Padres, Brewers and Dodgers regarding the possibility, though nothing has come together.

Why a team would want to trade its best starter in the middle of what should be a multi-year stretch of contention is beyond me, but most things point to the Tribe wanting to cut payroll. Apparently they have accomplished that mission because MLB.com’s Jon Morosi writes that the possibility of a Corey Kluber trade is “diminishing by the day.”

Kluber, 32, is a two-time AL Cy Young Award winner. This past season, Kluber went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings. He finished third in Cy Young balloting behind Blake Snell and Justin Verlander. He’ll make $17 million this season, then has two club options for the 2020-21 seasons at $17.5 million and $18 million, respectively, each with $1 million buyouts. For a pitcher of his caliber, that’s a bargain.

If you’re rooting for the Indians to win baseball games rather than to reach a certain, pre-defined level of profitability, the diminishing prospects of a Kluber trade should be good news to you.

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.