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Cubs sign Michael Roth to minor league deal

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Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the Cubs have signed free agent left-hander Michael Roth to a minor league deal. Roth elected free agency from the Rays last November and projects as left-handed bullpen depth for the Cubs’ system.

The 27-year-old is two years removed from his last major league gig, when he pitched just 3.2 innings in a blowout 12-5 loss for the Rangers. Despite a few cups of coffee with the Angels in 2013 and 2014, he’s never been able to stick for long at the big league level, though that hasn’t stopped him from putting up solid numbers in the minors. In 2017, he split his time between the Giants’ and Rays’ farm systems, producing a cumulative 4.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in 111 2/3 innings at Triple-A Sacramento and Triple-A Durham.

The Cubs, meanwhile, still have their sights set on a big-name acquisition before the offseason officially draws to a close next month. Recent reports continue to pair them with free agent right-handers Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb, all of whom are expected to face stiff competition for their services as Opening Day draws near.

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.