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Report: Ryan Flaherty nearing major-league deal with Braves

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Free agent infielder Ryan Flaherty is close to signing a deal with the Braves, according to a report from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Flaherty exercised the opt-out clause in his minor league contract with the Phillies last week after it became clear that he wouldn’t break camp with the club. Any potential deal with the Braves has yet to be confirmed.

Flaherty, 31, finished off a six-year run with the Orioles in 2017. Thanks to a bout of right shoulder tendonitis, he was limited to just 23 games and delivered a .211/.302/.237 batting line and one extra-base hit across 43 plate appearances. While he’s never looked particularly fearsome at the plate during regular season play, he raked during spring training, slashing .351/.390/.514 with a single home run and a .904 OPS in his first 18 games.

Of course, the Braves didn’t pursue Flaherty for his bat. The veteran infielder grades well on defense and has proven his versatility around the horn, making it likely that he’d net a part-time role behind second baseman Ozzie Albies, third baseman Rio Ruiz (filling in for an injured John Camargo) and shortstop Dansby Swanson.

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.