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Report: Orioles considering Hanley Ramirez

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The Orioles are reportedly considering free agent infielder Hanley Ramirez, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The report was later confirmed by the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, who says general manager Dan Duquette mentioned the signing was “under consideration.” That doesn’t necessarily mean a deal is imminent, however, especially as the Orioles already have a plethora of first base/designated hitter types at their disposal.

Helping matters: Rosenthal adds that there’s a shared history between Duquette and Ramirez, as the GM orchestrated Ramirez’s four-year, $88-million deal with the Red Sox back in 2014 and has an idea of what the slugger brings to the table. After a four-year run with the Sox, the 34-year-old first baseman was released on Friday in order to clear roster space for the now-injured Dustin Pedroia. He’s batting a modest .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and a .708 OPS in 195 plate appearances this year.

Even assuming Ramirez continued to improve on those numbers, there’s still the question of Baltimore’s first base/DH logjam. Chris Davis is the presumed starter at first, despite his career-worst .152 average and -1.7 fWAR. Mark Trumbo, Danny Valencia, and Pedro Alvarez have been trading off DH duties in the meantime, and both Trumbo and Valencia are hitting at a fair clip above Ramirez, too. On the other hand, the Orioles likely won’t be the only team interested in the veteran infielder this year, so Ramirez may not want to jump at the first offer he gets.

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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