MLB, MLBPA reach agreement on health and safety protocols

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post is among those reporting that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached an agreement on health and safety protocol involved in putting on the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic.

Per ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the health and safety guidelines had grown from 67 pages to over 100 pages.

Spring training will begin on July 3 at the players’ home ballparks. Opening Day of the 60-game regular season is believed to start on July 23 or 24. The season will come with some temporary changes. As of right now, no games will be played in front of fans. Teams will play 40 games within their division (10 games each) and the other 20 games interleague with geographic counterparts (5 games each), per Jon Heyman.

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.