Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon are late-night poker pals

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Here’s an amusing little tidbit from Philadelphia Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross:

Before the Phillies left for Houston, Cliff Lee brought fellow pitcher Jonathan Papelbon to Harrah’s in Chester to play poker. Lee’s a regular at Harrah’s poker room, usually playing late at night.

That’s legal, of course, as opposed to Alex Rodriguez’s appearances at underground poker games last year, although I’m sure MLB isn’t exactly thrilled about players gambling legally either.

I’m guessing Cliff Lee is pretty good at poker. Probably has a lot of patience, probably very precise, probably knows the math and strategy well.

I’m guessing Jonathan Papelbon re-raises everything pre-flop, goes all-in constantly for like 10 times more than he needs to bet, and then flips over the table whenever he doesn’t win a big pot.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.