Rays shortstop Tim Beckham to miss most of 2014 after tearing ACL in right knee

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Sad news for the Rays. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is reporting that former shortstop top prospect Tim Beckham will miss a significant portion of the 2014 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. Beckham was taken by the Rays first overall in the 2008 draft. He made Baseball America’s top-100 prospects list in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010.

Beckham, who turns 24 at the end of January, got his first taste of the Majors as a September call-up last season. In eight plate appearances, he had three hits (all singles) and did not strike out. He repeated at Triple-A Durham over the last two seasons, posting a .686 OPS in 2012 and a .729 OPS.

Fortunately, the Rays already have Yunel Escobar at shortstop after picking up his $5 million option for 2014 back in November. However, they’ll lack the flexibility to trade him closer to the trade deadline as he has only one more $5 million club option remaining for 2015.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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