Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has a “slight ligament tear” in thumb

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Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announced that seven-time All-Star catcher Yadier Molina has a “slight ligament tear” in his left thumb, which he injured Sunday in a play at the plate against the Cubs.

Mozeliak expressed optimism that Molina will be able to play again this season, but he’ll be shut down for at least 5-7 days and the Cardinals are left with light-hitting longtime backup Tony Cruz as their primary catcher with just two weeks remaining until the playoffs.

Molina’s offensive production has been underwhelming this season with a .270 batting average and four homers in 136 games for a .660 OPS that is his lowest mark since 2006 and 156 points below his combined .816 OPS from 2011-2014. Of course, even in a down year Molina is a better hitter than Cruz–a lifetime .215 hitter with a .551 OPS–and being without the seven-time Gold Glove winner defensively is the real loss.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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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.