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Report: Yankees, Phillies, Royals among teams interested in Kopech

by Jordan Lazowski

Could one of the two main pieces of the Chris Sale trade be heading out the door?

According to 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine, Michael Kopech has been heavily scouted in the past weeks and has received a “good deal” of interest. Among the teams interested are the Yankees, Royals, and Phillies – though they are far from the only teams interested.

Kopech, 28, has seen his 100-mph fastball return in his transition back to the bullpen, though his struggles with both walks and home runs have continued. In 29.1 innings this season, Kopech is 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA. He has struck out 32.3% of batters but walked 13.5% of them as well while getting the majority of the opportunities to serve as the team’s closer. He has five saves on the season, but also four blown saves – including one against the Mariners on Thursday night.

When it comes to the Trade Deadline, relief pitching is always one of the most important acquisitions for every team, and with Kopech’s abilities, it makes perfect sense as to why he is such a hot commodity. According to Levine, teams believe the White Sox are looking for young pitching under contract control in return as they prepare to trade players ahead of the deadline. This makes sense, as it is often much harder to find teams willing to trade their hitting prospects, especially at the trade deadline and for a reliever – even if Kopech is under control through the 2025 season.

Kopech had some comments regarding the trade rumors that he shared with 670 The Score:

“I don’t want to leave the White Sox, but I understand where the team is at and what they are trying to accomplish. It helps a little bit that I have been traded before. I know what it’s like to show up in a brand-new environment. It’s kind of like being a new kid at a school. It’s a little different now because you are expected to do something right away to help your new club win. A fresh start isn’t necessarily the worst thing, but my career has been about being with the Sox. If I am traded, I will do everything I can to contribute wherever I go.”

– Michael Kopech (via 670 The Score)

Kopech is unlikely to be traded any time before the First-Year Player Draft about a month from now, so hopefully, some of his next performances will help him to continue to build his trade value. According to MLB Pipeline’s preseason 2024 farm system rankings, the Yankees rank 11th, the Phillies rank 22nd, and the Royals rank 28th – so, while farm systems have obviously changed a lot, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see teams with better systems get involved as the trade deadline gets closer.


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Featured Image: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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