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Report: Dexter Fowler, Mike Matheny ‘barely talk’

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Last week, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak put his foot in his mouth when he called into question outfielder Dexter Fowler‘s effort and energy. He said, “I’ve also had a lot of people come up to me and question his effort and his energy level. You know, those are things that I can’t defend.” Mozeliak later tried to walk back his comments. This all happened, by the way, after Fowler left the team to be with his wife Aliya, who was giving birth to their second child.

Fowler, 32, has struggled in the second year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract signed with the Cardinals in December 2016. This season, he has hit a measly .168/.271/.273 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 255 plate appearances. Manager Mike Matheny has been giving Harrison Bader more and more playing time in right field, lessening Fowler’s opportunities.

According to a report from The Athletic’s Mark Saxon over the weekend, Fowler and Matheny “barely talk and haven’t for months.” Matheny was recently asked about Fowler specifically, but he deflected to discuss the team as a whole.

Saxon suggests that a trade by the end of the month isn’t as likely as an offseason trade. Fowler still thinks he can turn things around with his current team. He said, “Yeah, that’s what I signed up for. At the end of the day, it’s what I signed up for and I’m going to give it my all all the time.”

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.