Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu wants to sing the national anthem before a White Sox game

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We’re gonna have to hold you to this, Jose …

Abreu admitted to the Chicago Sun-Times recently that he was moved to tears when he heard the anthem at this year’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis: “I love everything about it,’’ said the Cuban slugger. “That is probably the best anthem I have heard. I like it the best. In reality, I don’t know the meaning of the words yet, but I like the way it sounds, the way it goes. … I don’t sing, but I have a routine in the shower.”

Abreu has been a breakout star in his first year of a six-year, $68 million contract, batting .321/.383/.598 with 34 homers and 100 RBI in 132 games. He should run away with American League Rookie of the Year honors.

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.