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Jhonny Peralta to begin a rehab assignment

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Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta will begin a rehab assignment with Low-A Peoria on Friday as he mounts his comeback from thumb surgery.

Peralta took batting practice yesterday so the Cardinals must have liked what they saw. If his assignment goes well he’ll be on track to come back in June, which is on the optimistic side of projections when he first went down. When he does come back Mike Matheny will have an interesting choice: give the veteran shortstop his job back or stick with Aledmys Diaz, who has hit a blistering .376/.403/.648 in Peralta’s absence.

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.