Monday, June 10, 2024

Michael Kopech Receiving Significant Trade Interest Per Report

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Michael Kopech could be headed out of the south side sooner rather than later, according to a recent report. On 670 The Score earlier, baseball analyst Bruce Levine reported that seven or eight teams have “some level of interest” in the White Sox closer and that Kopech is a “near certainty” to be traded before this year’s trade deadline.

Kopech’s Inconsistent White Sox Career

Kopech’s journey with the White Sox has been long and difficult. Acquired back in December 2016 as part of the Chris Sale trade, Kopech was a top prospect for a long time and looked to be one of the centerpieces of the White Sox future. Unfortunately, it did not play out that way for several reasons. 

Injury and inconsistent performances have plagued his White Sox career. Kopech has shown flashes of being the guy everyone hoped he would be but has yet to maintain that production level on the mound. He has bounced between the rotation and bullpen, never finding a defined role for himself for an extended period.

Kopech Still Has Trade Value

As up and down as Kopech is, he still has appeal and trade value as evidenced by Levine’s report. For one, he has a season and a half of team control left at an affordable price point. Any contending team can take his contract on without issue. Secondly, he still has demonstrated positive traits even despite his inconsistencies. Per Baseball Savant, Kopech ranks in the 99th percentile in fastball velocity, the 92nd percentile in K% and expected batting average, and the 88th percentile in extension. He is also striking out well over 12 batters per every nine innings this season. Kopech has a million-dollar arm and all the tools necessary to be successful. It is just a matter of him putting everything together.

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Potential Fits For Kopech

Levine’s report did not list specific teams interested in Kopech, but there are some apparent fits. The Orioles lost star closer Félix Bautista for the year and could use reinforcements at the back end of their bullpen. The Cubs bullpen has been a mess this season and could use another guy who can miss bats. The Reds have started surging recently and need another high-leverage bullpen arm. The Dodgers could also use another flamethrower at the back end of their bullpen. Virtually any contending team could use a guy like Kopech. He likely would not be a closer on a team with World Series aspirations, but he could be a very effective setup man if placed in the right situation.

Change Of Scenery Is Needed

Kopech’s talent is undeniable, and a change of scenery would help him. Look no further than his former teammate, Reynaldo López. Like Kopech, López struggled for much of his White Sox tenure before achieving significant success elsewhere. Kopech will likely follow suit once he is in a new environment with new coaches.

While it is unfortunate that Kopech never reached his true potential with the White Sox, it is nearing time to part ways. A team as bad as the White Sox does not need a closer and is better off turning a season and a half of Kopech’s services into players who can help in the future.

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lsh99
lsh99
Jun 9, 2024 8:11 am

Get this kid some real coaching and development, and he’ll probably be a steal. The Sox are in such a sad state. Rick Hahn stockpiled talent (ANY halfway decent GM can in a rebuild), but as has been reported, the organization (probably him included) has no interest in modern player development. Giolito and Cease panned out decently well, but of course they’re already gone. Robert is still a TBD, and I’m hoping he’s traded at this point, too. Everybody else–Moncada, Eloy, Reynaldo Lopez, Andrew Vaughn, Nick Madrigal– has been worthless. And it’s not because they’re not talented. What a colossal… Read more »

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