Last night, Major League Baseball owners unanimously voted for commissioner Rob Manfred to implement the 2020 season on his (read: their) terms, as per the March agreement with the MLBPA. Today, union representatives and MLB hashed out details.
Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the union told the league that the players will be ready to report for “spring” training on July 1. The regular season is expected to begin around the last week of the month, perhaps July 25. The two sides have not yet finalized health and safety protocols but that isn’t believed to be a significant hurdle.
As mentioned earlier, besides the shortened season, the 2020 season will look different due to a handful of proposed rule changes. But, barring unforeseen circumstances, we will see Major League Baseball return next week and the regular season begin in roughly a month. “Spring” training will take place in the teams’ home cities after MLB shut down all of its spring training facilities last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak in Florida.
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.