The Royals and Alex Gordon are close to a one-year contract

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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.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.