Once again, Royals general manager Dayton Moore has made it clear that the club wants left fielder Alex Gordon to return in 2020. According to Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star, Moore informed a group of season ticket holders that he told Gordon, “We want you back.” Moore added, “We’re a better ball club with Alex Gordon.” Set to turn 36 in February, Gordon indicated earlier this month he’s likely to wait until the winter to decide if he’ll continue playing next season. The career-long Royal has said he’ll only play for them if he does keep going. Gordon has a $23MM mutual option (or a $4MM buyout) for 2020, but the two sides figure to work out a much cheaper arrangement in the event he doesn’t retire.
More from the game’s Central divisions…
- Twins manager Rocco Baldelli expects the banged up duo of outfielder Max Kepler and utilityman Marwin Gonzalez to be ready when the American League Division Series begins next week, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com relays. Meanwhile, injured utility player Ehire Adrianza is making progress, but he’s not as far along in his recovery process as Kepler and Gonzalez are in theirs. Shoulder and back problems have prevented Kepler from taking an at-bat since Sept. 14, thereby derailing a breakout season; Gonzalez has been dealing with oblique issues throughout the month; and Adrianza went down Sept. 12 with oblique troubles of his own.
- The Brewers announced that outfielder Ryan Braun exited their game against the Rockies on Friday with discomfort in his left calf. The severity of the injury isn’t clear, but with Christian Yelich done for the year and Lorenzo Cain playing through injuries, a serious ailment for Braun would be another unwelcome development for the Brewers’ outfield as the playoffs approach. While the 35-year-old Braun is no longer the star he was in his prime, he has still contributed a valuable .285/.343/.505 line with 22 home runs and 11 steals on 12 attempts in 508 plate appearances this season. [UPDATE: Braun suffered a strain and will undergo an MRI, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.]
- The Pirates have discussed using left-hander Steven Brault as an occasional outfielder in 2020, according to manager Clint Hurdle (via Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The 27-year-old Brault hasn’t garnered any professional experience in the grass, but he did play some outfield at Regis University. Brault would be open to giving it a shot in the majors, Adam Berry of MLB.com tweets.