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Craig Kimbrel, Dallas Keuchel will lose draft pick compensation at midnight

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Reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Dallas Keuchel are still unsigned, but their odds of finding a home will rise significantly in just a few hours. At midnight EST, they will no longer have draft pick compensation attached to them, a result of receiving and declining qualifying offers during the offseason.

Despite this, teams already have their next batch of excuses lined up. Per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, some teams are unsure the pitchers will be ready to contribute this month. They are also worried based on the past history of players signing at this point in the season and not performing well.

Kimbrel, 31, finished the regular season last year with 42 saves, a 2.74 ERA, and a 96/31 K/BB ratio in 62 1/3 innings. His stock fell when he struggled early in the playoffs, allowing runs in each of his first four appearances. However, he appeared to figure things out, holding the opposition scoreless in his next four appearances in the postseason.

Keuchel, 31, went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings for the Astros in the regular season last year. The lefty’s strikeout rate tumbled but he is still markedly better than a lot of No. 3 and 4 pitchers in rotations to open the season and currently.

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.