Alex Gordon Rumors
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.
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.
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...
- Count Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as unimpressed by Detroit's contracts with Joaquin Benoit and Jhonny Peralta. Pluto cites Benoit's 4.47 career ERA and Peralta's .696 OPS over his last two seasons.
- The Orioles' failed pursuit of Victor Martinez proves "the issue isn't how much money the Orioles are willing to give somebody. It's whether somebody suitable is willing to take it," writes The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck.
- Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog thinks Manny Ramirez would be a bad fit on the Yankees.
- By the time the sale of the Astros is finalized, the new ownership group should have few salary commitments to deal with, reports Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- The Giants are betting that other teams don't value Juan Uribe as highly as they do, says CSNBayArea.com's Mychael Urban, which is why the club offered the infielder (a Type B free agent) arbitration. San Francisco thinks Uribe won't be able to find a multi-year deal elsewhere and will thus accept arbitration or re-sign for a $5MM, one-year contract. Even if Uribe does leave for another club, at least the Giants would get a draft pick in compensation.
- Urban also notes that the Giants are "tire-kicking" J.J. Hardy and Miguel Tejada as other infield options. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun predicts Tejada will be the best free agent bargain of the winter.
- In his look at the offseason needs of the AL Central clubs, The Kansas City Star's Bob Dutton names Detroit prospects Andy Oliver and Jacob Turner, Minnesota outfield prospects Joe Benson, Aaron Hicks and Ben Revere, and Kansas City's Robinson Tejeda and Alex Gordon as young players within the division who could be dealt. (Oliver and Turner only in "major trade talks" since "neither will be cheap.") Dutton adds that Grady Sizemore probably won't be dealt in the winter but "interest should quickly escalate" if Sizemore gets off to a healthy and productive start in 2011.
Links for Wednesday, the second day of the GM Meetings, as Ron Gardenhire and Bud Black take home Manager of the Year honors...
- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says he'd like to add starting pitching depth, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
- The Rockies, Blue Jays, and Athletics are among the teams that have shown interest in Alex Gordon according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. "I surely don't want [a trade] to happen, but it's part of baseball and it could happen," said Gordon.
- Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star reports that outfielder turned pitcher Brian Anderson has opted for free agency after being designated for assignment by the Royals.
- David Murphy of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Phillies GM Ruben Amaro reiterated that he has not been given a firm payroll by ownership. Their payroll has increased steadily over the last several years, peaking at approximately $138MM last season.
- The Pirates and reliever Chan Ho Park have mutual interest in a new contract, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, but Langosch believes the Bucs would only do a minor league deal. Park posted a 3.49 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 0.6 HR/9 for the Pirates this year after coming over from the Yankees. Jeremy Bonderman is also on the Pirates' radar, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf confirmed to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Sox asked the Marlins for a particular player as compensation for talking to manager Ozzie Guillen. Reinsdorf told Wittenmyer the player was not Mike Stanton; the Sun-Times writer speculates it may have been Logan Morrison.
- As you might expect, the Rays are not in a big rush to trade B.J. Upton given the loss of Carl Crawford, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal feels the Rays will also be reluctant to trade a starting pitcher right now, but would be willing to part with shortstop Jason Bartlett.
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.
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.
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.
Some links to check out while we wait to see if Jon Garland can help the Padres extend their lead in the NL West...
- Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that the Angels may take their time in trading for a first baseman, both to save money and to determine if they need to make a big pickup.
- Brewers' first-round pick Dylan Covey is looking for a $2MM signing bonus, which Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes is about $300K higher than MLB's slotted bonus price for a 14th overall selection.
- Haudricourt also reports that Milwaukee's first two picks from the 2009 Amateur Draft (26th overall right-hander Eric Arnett and 39th overall outfielder Kentrail Davis) have both been sent down a level. Arnett posted a 6.87 ERA in 12 starts at the low-A level and is moving down to rookie ball, while Davis goes from high-A to low-A.
- Royals manager Ned Yost tells MLB.com's Dick Kaegel that in spite of Alex Gordon's success at Triple-A, Gordon won't be called back up to the majors until Kansas City can find an everyday space for him.
- Five teams have an interest in outfielder Wilmer Romero in advance of the international signing period opening on July 2, tweets Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated.
- Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thinks the Pirates could spend around $10.5MM to sign their draft class since they "need, and want, to flood...their system with talent."
- The already pitching-rich Braves have "the most talented rotation in the minors" at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach, according to Fangraphs' Marc Hulet.
- MLB.com's Bill Ladson sees Washington pursuing a pitcher and a hitter at the trade deadline, and answers a number of hot stove-related questions in a fan mailbag.
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says that the Dodgers haven't made any progress towards acquiring Cliff Lee and are balking at the money left on Roy Oswalt's contract.
- Meanwhile, Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times says the Angels could have Paul Konerko today, if they wanted. He adds that if they do make a trade, they might be better off targeting a third baseman.
- A Mets' official indicated that the team won't discuss an extension with Rod Barajas until after the season, tweets Newsday's David Lennon.
- Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe tweets that Ted Lilly was "begging" the Yankees to sign him before the 2007, but they went for Kei Igawa instead.
- Paul Hagen of The Philadelphia Daily News says the Phillies shouldn't expect a trade deadline boost this year because of a depleted farm system beyond Domonic Brown and close to $140MM in salary commitments for 2011.
- Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle says it might not be until July that the Astros decide to "blow up the roster and start over."
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports looks at nine starting pitchers who will be on the market this summer, led by Lee.
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.
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.
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.