The Astros and outfielder George Springer could not come to an agreement before last week’s deadline for arbitration-eligible players and their teams to submit salary figures. Springer filed at $22.5 million while the Astros submitted $17.5 million.
Teams and players can still reach an agreement prior to going to an arbitration hearing next month. Per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, that’s what happened with the Astros and Springer. The two sides agreed on a $21 million salary for the 2020 season plus incentives for winning awards.
Springer, 30, had the best season of his career last year, batting .292/.383/.591 with 39 home runs, 96 RBI, and 96 runs scored over 556 plate appearances. Baseball Reference credited him with 6.2 Wins Above Replacement, an outstanding number.
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.