Royals plan for Alex Gordon: left field & first base

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Not only did Alex Gordon lose his spot on Kansas City’s roster after just 12 games, but it appears that he’s lost his position as well. The Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton reports that Gordon will play left field and first base for Triple-A Omaha.
We imagine that most of his time will come in left for now. Billy Butler may yet be a long-term DH for the Royals, but he isn’t budging of first base this year. Plus, the Omaha Royals already have a premier first baseman in Kila Ka’aihue.
Left field, on the other hand, is manned by Scott Podsednik in Kansas City, and while the speedy veteran is off to an excellent start, he’s hardly a part of the Royals’ long-term plans and it’d be no surprise to see him moved for a prospect in June or July.
Of course, Gordon may no longer be in Kansas City’s plans, either. By moving him off third base, the Royals are making it clear that they much prefer their infield with Alberto Callaspo at third. Also, it’s an acknowledgment that 2007 first-round pick Mike Moustakas is the new long-term hope at third.
Moustakas, who was drafted as a shortstop before moving to the hot corner, has had a disappointing pro career overall, but he’s still just 21 and, after missing a couple of weeks with a strained oblique, he’s off to a terrific .395/.471/.860 start in 11 games in Double-A this year.

Athletics sign Santiago Casilla to two-year, $11 million deal

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 10: Santiago Casilla #46 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch during the 9th inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.

Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system. Who has the worst?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 06:  General manager Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks laughs on the field before the Opening Day MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on April 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.

For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.