Alex Gordon Rumors

Royals Notes: Escobar, Cabrera, Ka’aihue

Royals GM Dayton Moore tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney that Alcides Escobar is different from some other players he has acquired in trades. Here are the details on Escobar and others in the Kansas City organization…

  • "Very rarely do you feel as good or better about a move after you get the player," Moore told Olney. But the Royals are happy with Escobar so far because he has been throwing well and making consistent contact at the plate. The Royals believe the shortstop has the potential to become a No. 2 hitter.
  • Melky Cabrera arrived to camp in good shape, but he isn’t guaranteed playing time. He, Jeff Francoeur, Kila Ka'aihue and Alex Gordon will all be competing for at bats.
  • As Olney reported yesterday, teams are expressing interest in Gordon, but Kansas City isn’t inclined to deal the former second overall pick because they think he could still flourish.
  • Though rival executives are in awe of Kansas City’s developing talent, the Royals want to see Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and others thrive in the big leagues before they get too excited.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan points out that Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projection likes Ka'aihue and projects a 25 homer, .860 OPS output from him in 2011. Ka'aihue says he doesn't really buy into the projections, but says he thinks the forecasted stats are plausible.

Teams Inquiring On Alex Gordon

Other teams have asked the Royals about Alex Gordon, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). And although the hype around Gordon has faded and shifted to a new group of Royals prospects, the team is still invested in him and its asking price remains high. Kansas City wants a "prime prospect" in exchange for Gordon, according to Olney.

Gordon, 27, has a .244/.328/.405 line in parts of four MLB seasons as a third baseman, first baseman and left fielder. Baseball America ranked him second among all prospects before the 2007 season, two years after the Royals selected him second overall in the draft. Gordon had 50-plus extra base hits in both of his first two MLB seasons, but slowed down in 2009-10, when he missed time with hip and hand injuries and spent more time in the minor leagues.

He earns $1.4MM through arbitration this year and won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season. The Blue Jays were one of the teams to express interest in Gordon this fall.


Royals, Alex Gordon Avoid Arbitration

The Royals and Alex Gordon agreed to a one-year deal for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced. Gordon made $1.15MM last year in his first campaign as an arbitration eligible player.

Gordon, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft, transitioned to the outfield last year after spending his entire career as a corner infielder. The 26-year-old hit .215/.315/.355 with eight homers in 281 plate appearances in 2010, so it seems unlikely that he got more than a token raise from the Royals.

Billy Butler, Kyle Davies and Rob Tejeda are Kansas City's remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.



Odds & Ends: Tigers, Orioles, Manny, Astros, Uribe

Happy birthday to two former All-Star catchers!  Future Hall-of-Famer Ivan Rodriguez turns 39 today, while Angels manager Mike Scioscia turns 52.

Some news items…


Odds & Ends: Gordon, Anderson, Phillies, Park

Links for Wednesday, the second day of the GM Meetings, as Ron Gardenhire and Bud Black take home Manager of the Year honors…


Royals Rumors: Greinke, Gordon, Francoeur

Royals GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he doesn't expect to trade Zack Greinke any time soon. “There’s nothing in the works, and I don’t anticipate anything happening real quick unless someone calls and just blows us away," Moore said. "I haven’t made any calls to clubs.” Here's the latest on Greinke and the Royals:

  • The Blue Jays aren't the only AL East team to inquire on Greinke; the Red Sox have also expressed interest.
  • The Blue Jays are one of many teams with interest in Alex Gordon, but Royals officials say they won’t dump the former top prospect for a small return.
  • Moore says “Jeff [Francoeur] is a winning-type baseball player who brings a lot of energy.” It sounds like the Royals have some interest in the free agent, but Moore cautioned that a potential deal would have to work for both sides.
  • Japanese clubs are interested in Phil Humber and Bryan Bullington, but the players would have to approve any deal.
  • The Royals allowed former prospect Chris McConnell to become a minor league free agent over the winter.

 


Blue Jays Have Inquired On Greinke, Gordon

The Blue Jays have inquired about the availability of Zack Greinke and Alex Gordon, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. As Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported yesterday, the Royals are looking for multiple top prospects for Greinke.

The Blue Jays have Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek pencilled in to their 2011 rotation. They could either let Drabek begin the year in the minors or trade a starter of their own if they acquired Greinke.

Gordon could play first or third for the Blue Jays, but it’s unlikely that he would patrol the outfield, where Travis Snider, Vernon Wells and Jose Bautista figure to get most of the playing time.

It’s not surprising to hear that the Blue Jays inquired on Greinke, a former Cy Young Award winner, and Gordon, a former first rounder who has always destroyed minor league pitching, but it doesn’t mean that GM Alex Anthopoulos will make the Royals a serious offer. 


Odds & Ends: Angels, Brewers, Gordon, Romero

Some links to check out while we wait to see if Jon Garland can help the Padres extend their lead in the NL West…


Odds & Ends: Chapman, Gordon, Winn, Brewers

Some Thursday notes from around the majors…

  • Aroldis Chapman recorded seven strikeouts while allowing three hits and a walk over five shutout innings for the Reds' Triple-A affiliate in Louisville tonight, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Chapman is in the midst of a 10 2/3 inning scoreless streak.
  • Fangraphs' Jack Moore looks at Alex Gordon's ongoing demolition of Triple-A pitching and says "there’s no excuse if he’s not back in Kansas City by June."
  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets that "many people believe" the Yankees will designate Randy Winn for assignment when Curtis Granderson returns from the DL.  Feinsand believes the Yanks should keep Winn and instead send Kevin Russo back to the minors.
  • MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that the Brewers have signed right-hander Eduardo Morlan to a minor-league deal.  The Brewers selected Morlan from Tampa Bay in the 2008 Rule 5 draft but he was designated for assignment and returned to the Rays during spring training of that year.  The Rays just released Morlan two days ago.
  • ESPN's Insider Rumors section (subscription required) speculates that Rickie Weeks could be a trade candidate if Milwaukee doesn't want to pay his likely arbitration raise in the winter.  MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explored the Brewers' trade options last week, and noted that Weekes' arbitration salary bump might also cause teams to shy away from acquiring him.
  • John Schuerholz chatted on the air with Sirius XM Radio's Jim Bowden today.  Bowden tweeted that Schuerholz feels the Braves have enough pop in their lineup and don't "need to make a Fred McGriff type trade."  The Crime Dog was acquired by Atlanta in July 1993 for Donnie Elliott, Vince Moore and Melvin Nieves — don't you always need to make a deal like that?
  • Bowden also had Baltimore president Andy MacPhail on his show, and speculates (via Twitter) that the O's will look to draft Jameson Taillon based on MacPhail's description of his club's wants.  Bowden also tweeted that MacPhail didn't offer an endorsement of manager Dave Trembley, and instead just noted that it's still early in the season.
  • Omar Minaya said the Mets might look to trade for a starter later in the summer, reports Kieran Darcy of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Fanhouse's Ed Price explains how Philadelphia's unheralded signings of Jose Contreras and Danys Baez have bailed out their bullpen over the first two months of the season.
  • Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com answers Cleveland-related fan questions in a mailbag about such topics as when Michael Brantley will return to the majors, the recent release of Scott Lewis, and how the Tribe passed on Jason Heyward in the 2007 amateur draft.

Stark On Hanley, Royals, Astros, Rays, Pedro

Teams called about Hanley Ramirez after this week's drama, but the Marlins informed them that they have no interest in dealing their superstar, writes ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. The Marlins will hold onto Hanley, at least until their new ballpark opens in 2012. Here are the rest of Stark's rumors:

  • Teams have expressed interest in some Royals, but the Royals have told them to call back in a month. Teams are hearing that Alex Gordon and Joakim Soria are not available. Jose Guillen would be easier to obtain than those two, but Stark hasn't heard of a single team with interest.
  • Ned Yost would have been a candidate to replace Bobby Cox in Atlanta after the season, had he not taken over in Kansas City. Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez could also manage the Braves next year, in the opinion of one person close to the team.
  • Astros GM Ed Wade insists that he wants to win now, but says he'll "pay attention to any opportunity" that makes the team better if the 14-26 Astros fall further out of contention. In other words, the Astros could be sellers if they don't win soon.
  • Rival clubs say they don't expect the Rays to trade for a reliever just because J.P. Howell is out for an extended period of time. One executive thinks the Rays would love to add a couple of power arms to their 'pen eventually.
  • Executives disagree on Pat Burrell's future. One exec says Burrell could fit in Seattle and another one doesn't see any good fits for the free agent.
  • The Phillies have had discussions with Pedro Martinez, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledged. There's mutual interest in a deal and the sides continue communicating.
  • One official says top amateur pitcher Jameson Taillon is "way overpriced."
  • Two of Stark's sources are uneasy with MLB's attempt to hurry along the Rangers' sale.