Craig Kimbrel to Cubs pending physical

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UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs have signed Craig Kimbrel. The deal is pending a physical. Here are the details as they currently stand.

1:53 PM: We’re now three days past the point where draft pick compensation is no longer attached to any teams which want to sign Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel and still there has been no movement. It’s as if no one wants one of the best relievers and one of the better starting pitchers in all of baseball. Kinda nuts!

The the other day we heard that the Yankees were perceived as the front runners for Keuchel. But what of Kimbrel? Here’s what we got at the moment:

  • Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs are “pushing hard” to sign Kimbrel. That would make a lot of sense given the injuries their bullpen has sustained and given that Chicago is likely to be in a dogfight with the Brewers all summer long;
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that Kimbrel is a “priority” for the Minnesota Twins. That might make a lot of sense too. The Twins, though, can probably drive a bit of a harder bargain if they want to seeing as though they have a 10.5 game lead in their division. They may not want to lose Kimbrel to someone else, but they can afford to wait a bit longer and have more of a margin of error than most clubs;
  • The Braves seem, constantly, to be mentioned as a potential landing spot. While this makes sense from both the perspective of the Braves’ needs and from the fact that Kimbrel spent many years in in Atlanta and might want to go back, anyone connected with the Braves and everyone who covers the Braves on a day-to-day basis has poured cold water on that kind of talk, saying that Atlanta has no interest in either Kimbrel or Keuchel.

So there we are. Clear as mud. The only thing that one might say is that all of this rumor mongering suggests some actual activity behind the scenes, which would in turn suggest that Kimbrel’s days as a free agent are drawing to a close.

But where he stops, nobody knows.

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.