Archie Bradley will make his major league debut tonight against Clayton Kershaw

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Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley has the unenviable task of opposing 2014 NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw Saturday night in his major league debut against the Dodgers. As if simply making a big league debut isn’t stressful enough, he’ll have to get through the best pitcher of this generation if he wants a win. Bradley, though, seems to be looking forward to the challenge. Via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert:

“I mean, it’s exciting,” Bradley said. “He’s one of the best, if not the best, in all of baseball. I just take it as a challenge, like why not start my career against someone like him? At the end of the day it’s about keeping them from scoring and he’s going to do the same. So it’s just about pitching my game.”

Bradley pitched well during Cactus League play this spring, posting a 1.61 ERA and a 14/6 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings. His performance gave the D’Backs enough confidence to trade Trevor Cahill to the Braves, opening up a starting rotation spot.

Entering this season, Bradley was rated the #11 overall prospect by Baseball Prospectus. The 22-year-old was also rated #15 overall by MLB.com and #25 by Baseball America.

To make things more difficult, Bradley will also have to face Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who is seeing beach balls to start the season. Gonzalez is 11-for-18 with five home runs and 11 RBI. Three of those home runs came in one game, Wednesday against the Padres.

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.