Royals have discussed contract extension with Alex Gordon

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The Royals have let a number of talented players depart via free agency in the past 10-plus offseasons. Hoping to turn a new leaf as an organization, they’re going to try not to do that so much anymore.

According to Dick Kaegel of MLB.com, the Kansas City front office has engaged in exploratory talks toward a long-term extension for Alex Gordon.

Gordon is arbitration-eligible in 2012 and 2013, so there’s no real rush this winter. But the Royals don’t want him to get even a whiff of the open market.

A former second overall draft pick, the 27-year-old outfielder finally realized his potential this year on the way to posting a .303/.376/.502 batting line, 23 home runs, 87 RBI and 17 steals in 688 plate appearances.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.