Jeff Samardzija keeps rolling, shuts out MLB’s top lineup

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Toronto has had by far the best offense in baseball this season, scoring 5.4 runs per game while none of the other teams are above 4.6 runs per game, but this afternoon the (admittedly short-handed) Blue Jays were no match for White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija.

Samardzija, an impending free agent whose name has been popping up frequently in trade speculation, tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout on just 108 pitches.

He’s had a disappointing season and carrying a 4.93 ERA into mid-June certainly wasn’t what the White Sox were hoping for when they acquired Samardzija from the A’s, but in his last six starts he’s now got a 2.40 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio in 45 innings. And he’s thrown at least seven innings in 11 of 13 starts since May 1.

Samardzija remains one of the best pitchers likely to be available at the trade deadline.

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.