For the past several weeks it’s been unclear where the Toronto Blue Jays were going to play this year. While the U.S.-based teams were all given the green light to play in their home parks, Canada/Ontario/Toronto had not yet done so for the Jays. Meanwhile one alternative plan — to play at their spring training home in Dunedin, Florida — seemed unworkable given the COVID-19 outbreak there.
Now, it seems, those problems are going to solved: the Toronto Sun reports that government clearance for the Blue Jays to play in Canada is expected as early as Monday. The team is reportedly making arrangements to transport staff and players to Toronto this week.
So, with that, it looks like everyone will be playing in familiar surroundings. That will feel weird due to the lack of fans, but familiar besides that.
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.