Twins sign Jason Bartlett

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Jason Bartlett has agreed to a minor-league deal with Minnesota, where he started at shortstop from 2005-2007 before being traded to Tampa Bay in the Delmon Young-Matt Garza swap.

Bartlett was injured and ineffective in 2012 and sat out all of this season, so at age 34 there’s no telling if he has anything left in the tank. He hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2009, but the Twins are always in need of middle infield help and there’s no risk to a non-roster invitation to spring training.

He’ll likely compete for a job backing up Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier.

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.