Tigers planning to tab Alex Avila as the everyday catcher in 2015

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In a column for The Detroit News posted on Friday, Lynn Henning writes that the Tigers are planning to use Alex Avila as the everyday catcher in 2015, though they will attempt to find a role for rookie James McCann. 2015 is also likely to be Avila’s last with the Tigers. The Tigers picked up Avila’s $5.4 million option for the 2015 season last week.

Avila, 27, has taken an absolute beating behind the plate, suffering numerous concussions which have both limited his playing time and reduced his production offensively. After posting a 142 adjusted OPS (OPS+; 100 is average) in 2011, he has hovered around between average and slightly below-average in the three seasons since with marks of 99, 88, and 91. If all goes according to plan for the Tigers, McCann puts up a good showing in the upcoming season and allows the team to move on from Avila.

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.