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At least 16 MLB teams pledge more stipends to minor leaguers

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NEW YORK (AP) At least 16 major league franchises have informed minor leaguers they will continue to provide allowances after the May 31 expiration of Major League Baseball’s policy guarantying those players $400 per week.

The Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners are promising payments through August, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks have pledged to do so through at least June. The White Sox are even providing those stipends to 25 minor league players recently released.

The Philadelphia Phillies also plan to continue allowances through June, but likely at a reduction from the $400 per week rate. The amount is to be determined, the team said.

Oakland said Tuesday it will suspend pay for all minor leaguers at the end of the month. The Athletics are the only team to announce an end to the allowances.

MLB suspended spring training and postponed the start of the minor league season in March due to the novel coronavirus, leaving low-paid minor league players in lurch. The league

March 19 that provided most non-40-man roster players signed to minor league deals with stipends through April 8, and it later extended the policy through May 31.

The allowances were a pay raise for many players, with minimum salaries ranging from $290 per week at Class A to $502 per week at Triple-A over the five-month season.

MLB and the players’ association are

to start the major league season later in the summer, but it seems likely there will not be a minor league season. Some teams have reportedly begun to release players who aren’t top prospects and won’t figure into their 2020 MLB rosters. The White Sox are the only club to say it will extend allowances to players recently released.

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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.