The Dodgers are open to trading Yasiel Puig

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers are open to trading Yasiel Puig. Nothing is imminent, of course, but the fact that the club is even weighing the possibility is big news.

Nor is it terribly difficult to understand. Puig has had flashes of superstardom and still has the potential to be star, but it’s obvious that his development has stalled. Injuries are a part of that but not all of it and he has declined in each of the past three years. He’s hitting .257/.321/.379 with only seven homers on the year and is on pace for his worst season as a big leaguer.

That said, at the moment, a club could still look at Puig and think that there are good days ahead and that a change of scenery would do him good. They could even imagine him, I would assume, breaking out and being a fairly cost effective superstar. He’s still only 25. If he has another season or two like this, however, his value would plummet.

The timing of this could prove to be a gamble. The Dodgers would be selling low on Puig now if they did sell. They’re also in the playoff hunt and that same “squint-and-you-can-see-a-superstar” thing might make more optimistic members of the Dodgers front office think that a hot month or two from Puig in Dodger blue is worth hanging on to him. Regardless of their own internal calculus, it may be better to try to trade him in the winter. Teams are far more able to picture change-of-scenery candidates then and, of course, you’re dealing with 29 other teams on the market, not just teams looking to add a bat at the deadline.

Whatever happens, there are going to be some fascinating and difficult decisions to make about this difficult player in the coming weeks.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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