Alex Gordon named Hitter of the Week at Triple-A

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Demoted to the minors earlier this month after the Royals gave him all of 31 at-bats to get back on track from a broken thumb, Alex Gordon was named Pacific Coast League Hitter of the Week for predictably knocking around Triple-A pitchers.
Gordon is hitting .362 with a .524 on-base percentage and .766 slugging percentage in 17 games at Triple-A, smacking five homers and four doubles in 47 at-bats with as many walks as strikeouts. He’s also said to be taking well to the transition from third base to left field, which will hopefully speed up the timetable for Gordon’s return to Kansas City.
If the Royals were smart they’d already be playing Kila Ka’aihue at designated hitter rather than 34-year-old Jose Guillen (who’s hitting .220 with a .626 OPS in his last 30 games) and would install Gordon as the new starting left fielder over 34-year-old Scott Podsednik (and his .401 slugging percentage) as soon as his crash course in outfield defense had him looking passable out there.
Veteran mediocrity on a last-place team has little value to begin with, but when that veteran mediocrity is blocking younger, potentially much better players … well, then you have the Royals.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.