Hot Stove Roundup: Cabrera, Rodney, Orioles, Pirates

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Thumbnail image for miguelcabrera.jpgHere’s a few Hot Stove items of note as we eagerly await 12:01 am on Friday:

– Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com thinks that if the Tigers aim to cut payroll, they should consider trading Miguel
Cabrera to the Red Sox
. Likewise, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks Cabrera should be on Boston’s short-list of possible middle-of-the-order bats. Cabrera, 26, is owed $126 million over the next six seasons.



– Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes that the Phillies reportedly have interest in Fernando Rodney, but he might not be an option since he will want to close. In a related story, Brad Lidge “should be ready at or near the very beginning of spring training” following elbow surgery, says his agent Rex Gary.



– Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes that the Pirates won’t be major players in free agency yet again,
but they could have interest in lower-tier free agents like Rick
Ankiel, Jamey Wright, Mark Hendrickson and Japanese pitcher Ryota
Igarashi.




– Roch Kubato of the MASNSports.com wonders if the Orioles will consider signing Braden Looper, Jon Garland or Matt Treanor since the club was connected to them last winter.



– Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News takes a look some of the top set-up men available on the free agent market, and how arbitration and draft pick compensation may impact where they end up.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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