Ryan Howard can be traded to nine teams without his approval.

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The Phillies would love to unload Ryan Howard. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, however, that Howard can block trades to 20 teams. The nine teams to which Howard can be traded without his permission: Tigers, Royals, Angels, Mariners, Yankees, Rangers, Rays, Orioles and Red Sox.

On the one hand, it’s good that they’re all American League teams, giving Howard a chance to DH. On the other hand, most of those teams don’t need a 1B/DH type. There have been some talks with the Orioles, but they’ve amounted to very little.

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.