Braves are leaning towards bringing back Kris Medlen

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Kris Medlen won’t be ready to pitch when the 2015 season begins as he’ll still be working his way back from Tommy John surgery, but the Braves are still leaning towards bringing him back, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The nearly $6 million Medlen is projected to earn through arbitration is too expensive for the Braves given his injury, but they would be interested in a reduced contract with incentives.

Medlen, 29, had a fantastic 2013 season, finishing with a 3.11 ERA and a 157/47 K/BB ratio in 197 innings. His return could be one way the Braves deal with the expected loss of Ervin Santana, to whom the club has made a $15.3 million qualifying offer. The Braves could also bring back Brandon Beachy, who is also coming back from Tommy John surgery and is also arbitration-eligible.

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.