Rays sign Ronald Belisario to a minor league deal

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With reliever Ronald Belisario’s deal with the Blue Jays having fallen through, the Rays took the opportunity to snap him up and sign him to a minor league deal, per Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin adds that the Rays are likely to add infielder Alexi Casilla on a minor league deal as well. Both are expected to compete for major league jobs during spring training.

Belisario, 32, spent last season with the White Sox, finishing with a 5.56 ERA and a 47/18 K/BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings. He was effective out of the bullpen in the previous two seasons with the Dodgers, however.

Casilla, 30, has a career .633 OPS over parts of nine seasons in the major leagues. He appeared in only one game for the Orioles last season, spending most of the year with Triple-A Norfolk.

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.