Pirates to place Charlie Morton on the disabled list with a hip injury

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Pirates starter Charlie Morton wasn’t very effective in Saturday’s spring training finale against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The right-hander walked five and hit two batters in 1 2/3 innings. Per Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Morton said, “I’m throwing the ball behind guys. It’s crazy. I’m trying to be professional out there. That’s not professional. That’s a joke.”

Morton, 31, had surgery last September to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. He is headed back to the disabled list with more hip problems, Sawchik reports. Vance Worley, who was slated to begin the season in the Pirates’ bullpen, will take Morton’s spot in the starting rotation. Morton posted a 3.72 ERA with a 126/57 K/BB ratio in 157 1/3 innings last season.

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.