Alex Gordon Rumors

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.

Where Could Alex Gordon Go?

Let's face it: if the Royals aren't going to give Alex Gordon a chance to play regularly when they are 11-21, 10 games out of first, and weeks shy of Memorial Day, he has fallen out of favor with the club. After just 38 plate appearances, the Royals sent Gordon - the player they once selected him second overall - to Triple-A to make way for… Alberto Callaspo.

But Gordon, still just 26, is a career .320/.433/.577 hitter in the minor leagues. Clearly, some team should take a flier on Gordon as a possible long-term answer at third base. Which teams are best suited to do so, and how much is it likely to cost?

  • The Phillies seem like an interesting landing spot for Gordon, though not at first blush. Placido Polanco, after all, is signed through 2012. But Gordon could be an upgrade from Greg Dobbs at the very least. If Gordon fulfills his promise, the Phils could attempt to deal Polanco. More to the point, Gordon seems to fit the Phillies' template- his acquisition would be akin to the buy-low on Jayson Werth- and Philadelphia has depth in the farm system. A couple of their secondary pitching prospects could get it done.
  • The Orioles have a combined zero homers from Rhyne Hughes and Garrett Atkins, so Gordon could appeal to them as an option at first. Corner infield prospects Brandon Snyder and Josh Bell lurk in the minors, but with Miguel Tejada locked up for just one year, Gordon would provide the O's with depth and upside.
  • The Athletics don't have a ton in the way of a present or future player blocking Gordon. Kevin Kouzmanoff is a decent option, but he hardly has Gordon's upside at this point. With a number of nearly-ready pitching prospects to integrate into a young staff, the Athletics could well deal from pitching depth for Gordon, too.
  • The Padres are another possible landing spot, with Chase Headley unlikely to keep up his batting average-fueled start. San Diego has several third base prospects, including James Darnell, who Baseball America ranked as the organization's third-best prospect heading into the season. Still, none of the Padres prospects have even proven themselves at Double-A, so acquiring Gordon and giving him the chance to win the third base job wouldn't impact any of them in the short-term. It would also echo the acquisition of another buy-low, former top draft pick: Adrian Gonzalez. A package of one of the Padres' third base prospects and a pitcher should be enough to pry Gordon loose.

Stark On Gordon, Dunn, Lowell

The five most untradeable contracts in baseball?  ESPN's Jayson Stark's poll of baseball executives say it's Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner, Carlos Lee, and Barry Zito.  Hard to argue; check out our Bad Contract Swap Meet from last year for a look at other ugly deals.  It was interesting to see Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kosuke Fukudome nab honorable mentions in Stark's poll.  On to his other rumblings…

  • Stark's conversations led to repeated mentions of the new collective bargaining agreement, which will go into effect in December of 2011.  The uncertainty will have an impact – will 2011 draftees lack leverage, knowing that a slotting system could be installed the following year?  Does it make sense to worry about Super Two status for Mike Stanton now, when that provision might not exist in 2012?
  • Teams have kicked the tires on Alex Gordon, but the Royals have no interest in trading him.  MLBTR's Luke Adams led a discussion post on Gordon yesterday.
  • The Dodgers are scouring the trade market for starting pitching, while the Royals and Phillies seek bullpen help.  The Mariners and Braves are trying to add offense.  The Diamondbacks are actually more interested in starting pitching than relief, and are expected to have Chris Snyder available once Miguel Montero returns.
  • A "baseball man familiar with the Nationals' thinking" expects Adam Dunn to return in 2011, though not necessarily via an in-season extension.
  • A friend of Mike Lowell tells Stark the third baseman would love to play for the Twins or Angels if the Red Sox plan to trade him.
  • The Phillies have recently adopted a stance against full no-trade clauses, which is reflected in the Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard extensions.

Discussion: Alex Gordon

Earlier this week, the Royals optioned former first-round pick Alex Gordon to the minors. The second overall pick in 2005, Gordon was named Baseball America's #2 prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2007 season. However, since hitting .260/.351/.432 in 2008, the 26-year-old has struggled to stay healthy and has posted a slash line of just .226/.327/.369 in 227 plate appearances for the Royals, leading to his demotion.

For Joe Posnanski, the move is a signal that the club has given up on Gordon, writing that "when you send him to the minor leagues after only 12 games, it doesn’t matter what you say. You are giving up." ESPN.com's Rob Neyer agrees, pointing out that many people in Kansas City's front office weren't around when Gordon was drafted, reducing their investment in him. Neyer says that if he were running the Royals, he'd play Gordon at third base, barring injury, until season's end, but the organization has other plans — they intend to give Gordon playing time at left field and first base in Triple-A Omaha. As Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star notes, Gordon likely would've been displaced at third base eventually by prospect Mike Moustakas, who is hitting .417/.491/.917 in Double-A so far this season.

So where does this leave Gordon? Posnanski is pessimistic about the left-handed hitter's future in Kansas City, predicting that Gordon could end up blossoming with another team who appreciates his strengths. It's unclear if the Royals would consider moving him at this point though, or if there'd even be much of a market for him. Mellinger spoke to one rival scout who opines: "Nobody I know is excited about [Gordon] or thinks he’s above getting sent down."

Gordon is under team control until after the 2013 season, so for now the Royals figure to give him a chance to play every day and gain some confidence in the minors. Eventually, his performance or an injury on the 25-man roster will earn him another shot in the bigs. Posnanski, however, belives that "without expectation and without a position," it won't work.

If it were your decision, what would you do with Gordon, a player once drafted ahead of Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, and Troy Tulowitzki?


Odds & Ends: Harper, Escobar, Vazquez, Gordon

Links for Monday, as Joe Blanton makes his 2010 debut…


Odds & Ends: Royals, Byrnes, Colon, Twins

A few links to browse, as we prepare for the Mets' third consecutive appearance on Sunday Night Baseball….

  • R.J. Anderson of Fangraphs weighed in on the Royals' demotion of Alex Gordon.
  • Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner (via Twitter) has a gut feeling that the M's will release Eric Byrnes tomorrow.  Heading into today's game, Byrnes had a slash line of .107/.265/.179 in 34 plate appearances.
  • Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweets that reports of the Royals selling Ramon Colon to Korea's Kia Tigers appear to be premature.  However, the deal for the righty should happen sometime mid-week.
  • In a guest piece at Minorleagueball.com, Twins' prospect guru Seth Stohs tells readers about five Twins prospects that you might not know, but probably should.
  • ESPN New York's Ian O'Connor spoke with Omar Minaya about several Mets-related issues, including his early impression of Ike Davis and Jerry Manuel's contract status. Minaya offers praise for Manuel, but says he won't be approached about an extension until season's end.
  • The New York Post's Joel Sherman writes that the Rays' front office will continue to keep their club competitive, regardless of how many fans are in the stands. He also opines that the presence of Desmond Jennings and Jeremy Hellickson in Triple-A Durham gives the team the flexibility to make a trade that would help them both immediately and in the long-term.
  • Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times examines how the Dodgers' cost cutting has affected their scouting and player development.
  • J.D. Durbin has signed a one-year deal with NPB's Softbank Hawks, according to Kyodo News. The 28-year-old right-hander last pitched in the majors in 2007 for the Phillies.