According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals and Alex Gordon “appear close” to agreeing on a one-year deal in order to avoid arbitration.
Gordon, who is arbitration-eligible for the third time this offseason, filed for $5.45 million and was offered $4.15 million by the Royals when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. Dutton estimates that they’ll likely compromise in the range of $4.8-$5 million.
Gordon remains under team control through 2013, but Dutton hears that the two sides are expected to continue negotiations on a multi-year pact once a one-year deal is in the books. The Royals are believed to have offered Gordon a four-year deal around $30 million, which would equal the contract his teammate Billy Butler signed last January.
Gordon, who turns 28 on Friday, is coming off a long-awaited breakthrough season in which he batted .303/.376/.502 with 23 home runs, 87 RBI, 17 stolen bases and an .879 OPS. He also won a Gold Glove for his defense in left field.
The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.
Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.
The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.
In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.