White Sox interested in Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes, but won’t go beyond three years

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According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, the White Sox are interested in free agent outfielders Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes, but aren’t willing to go above three-years in a contract with either.

Gordon, who turns 32 in February, reportedly told the Royals they have “no chance” at signing him based on their four-year offer at $12-13 million per year. If that report is true, then that gives the White Sox an idea as to how realistic it is that they could sign him. If they were able to sign him, he wouldn’t cause the White Sox to forfeit their first-round pick as it is protected. Gordon, en route to helping the Royals win the World Series in 2015, hit .271/.377/.432 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 422 plate appearances while playing superb defense in left field.

Cespedes, 30, wouldn’t have cost the White Sox their first round pick if it weren’t protected as he was traded during the season, making him ineligible to receive a qualifying offer. The slugger hit a cool .291/.328/.542 between the Tigers and Mets. He went on a tear after joining the Mets, blasting 17 home runs in the span of 31 games between August 12 and September 14, helping push his new club into the post-season for the first time since 2006. Cespedes, due to his age, could command a contract greater both in length and total value than Gordon.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.