Astros “making a strong effort” for Phillies ace Cole Hamels

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Monday night that the Astros are legitimate suitors for Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is hearing much of the same

Houston looks like a safe bet to contend for a long time, so there should be some attraction there.

Hamels, who is under contract on a relatively good deal through 2019, owns a 3.64 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 137/39 K/BB ratio in 128 2/3 innings this season for the 37-63, last-place Phillies. He’s coming off a no-hitter Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, the first of the 31-year-old’s illustrious major league career.

Hamels would join Dallas Keuchel and Scott Kazmir in an excellent, postseason-ready Astros rotation.

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.