Padres sign Jose Valverde

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According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Padres have signed reliever Jose Valverde. It’s presumably a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Valverde, who turns 37 in March, posted a 5.66 ERA and 23/10 K/BB ratio over 20 2/3 innings with the Mets last season before being released in late May. It’s easy to forget this, but he actually served as New York’s closer for a stretch after Bobby Parnell’s Tommy John surgery and went 2-for-4 in save opportunities. The Mets turned to Jenrry Mejia after Valverde’s release and the bullpen actually became a strength as the year moved along.

Valverde is unlikely to be trusted with a late-inning role again, but the Padres are at least willing to see if he has anything left in the tank.

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.