Blue Jays are on the hunt for veteran relievers

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Their potential interest in a trade for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon appears to be on hold, at least or now, but the Blue Jays are definitely in the market for veteran bullpen help.

Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that they’re “making a strong push” to sign right-hander Ronald Belisario and have been “in contact” with right-handers Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, and Burke Badenhop.

Toronto’s closer for most of the past three seasons, Casey Janssen, signed a one-year deal with Washington yesterday.

Belisario would likely be a middle relief option given his 5.56 ERA for the White Sox last season and 3.75 career mark, whereas Rodriguez and Soriano would likely be late-inning options and possibly even closers.

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.