Lance Lynn leaves Grapefruit League start with hip strain

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From Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that right-handed starter Lance Lynn had to make an early departure from his Grapefruit League debut Sunday against the Marlins due to a left hip flexor strain. Lynn was also looking at his right hand as he walked off the field with a team trainer, suggesting that he may also be dealing with a blister.

The right-hander will be reevaluated on Monday.

Hip flexor strains come with a wide range of recovery timetables, from a couple of days to several weeks.

If this turns out to be a severe strain, the Cardinals can turn to either Jaime Garcia or Marco Gonzales for some April rotation turns. That presumes Carlos Martinez is already locked into a spot.

Lynn, 27, posted an excellent 2.74 ERA with 181 strikeouts in 203 2/3 innings last season.

He signed a three-year, $22 million contract extension with the Cardinals in January.

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UPDATE, 3:15 p.m. ET: Some good news, perhaps, via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch …

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.