From beat writer Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star comes word that the Royals have announced Jason Vargas will be their starting pitcher for Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday night against the Orioles.
It could be a potential American League pennant clincher if the Royals — up 2-0 in the best-of-seven Championship Series — defeat the Orioles again on Monday night behind right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.
Vargas held the Angels to two runs over six solid innings in his one ALDS start — a 3-2 victory for Kansas City. The 31-year-old left-hander registered a 3.71 ERA and 1.27 WHIP across 187 innings during the regular season.
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.