Rays interview Dave Martinez and Manny Acta for their managerial vacancy

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The Rays’ search for Joe Maddon’s replacement continued today, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that bench coach Dave Martinez and former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta both interviewed for the vacant manager job.

The Rays spoke with Craig Counsell, Raul Ibanez, and Don Wakamatsu via phone yesterday. Triple-A Durham manager Charlie Montoyo, Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash, and Giants bench coach Ron Wotus are also under consideration.

Martinez worked alongside Maddon for seven seasons, so he would appear to be a natural fit. During an appearance on MLB Network yesterday, third baseman Evan Longoria called Martinez “kind of the obvious pick” and reasoned that the front office “might not want to bring in further change.”

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.