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Jung Ho Kang suspended one year by the Korean Baseball Organization

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Ex-Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has been suspended for a year by the Korean Baseball Organization due to a series of drunk driving incidents in which he was involved in 2009, 2011, and 2016. He was also ordered him to perform 300 hours of community service by the KBO.

Kang had originally been suspended for three years by the KBO, but as he was still pursuing a career in the United States as late as last season, it didn’t have much of an effect on him. This move comes in response to Kang submitting a letter of apology and an inquiry about a possible return to the KBO earlier this month.

Kang signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in January 2015, becoming the first position player to jump directly from the KBO to the majors. After two pretty good seasons, however, he was arrested on his third DUI charge in Seoul following the 2016 season and was unable to return to the United States until 2018. Also in 2016, Kang was considered a person of interest in a a sexual assault case in Chicago that remains open.

Kang played in only three games at the end of 2018. He was named the Pirates starting third baseman as the 2019 campaign began but was released in August after hitting just .169/.222/.395 over 185 plate appearances. The Brewers signed him after that but he never suited up for them in the majors or minors.

It’s safe to say that Kang’s career in Major League Baseball is over. If he wants to play again in Korea, he’ll have to wait a year after any team signs him. If any team signs him.

 

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.