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Manny Ramirez wants to play in Taiwan in 2020

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Manny Ramirez’s last act as a professional baseball player came in Taiwan in 2013 when he suited up for a very brief period for the EDA Rhinos of the CPBL (the Rhinos are now the Fubon Guardians). He did well in that short stint but then went back home to be with his family. Aside from some coaching here and there, he’s retired. He turns 48 next month.

Ramirez, however, apparently still wants to play.

In this interview in the Taiwan Times, he spends a great deal of time talking about how much he enjoyed and respected the baseball culture in Taiwan. And then he dropped this:

My goal for 2020, is to find a roster spot in the CPBL. I have been itching to get back in the batter’s box and be able to compete again. I also miss being around teammates and team dinners post-game.

I know if I was given the opportunity to come in an organization as a player-coach, it would do great things for the organization and the league.

It’s hard to tell how much of this is serious and how much of this is Manny simply catering a bit to the Taiwan baseball audience. He did say, however, that he’s been “sneaking around the local hitting cages in my area,” and that he has had offers from teams in the Atlantic League, but that he is “more in favor of experiencing Taiwan and their delicious food . . . I am positive an opportunity will arise, God willing.”

I doubt anything comes of it, but weirder things have happened.

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.