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Brad Boxberger out as D-Backs’ closer

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MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports that Brad Boxberger is no longer the Diamondbacks’ primary closer. Going forward, manager Torey Lovullo will close out games based on matchups.

Boxberger, 30, has struggled recently. He blew Sunday’s save chance against the Braves, yielding three runs while recording only one out. He has given up runs in three of four appearances to start the month of September, causing his ERA to balloon to 4.41.

Boxberger had been solid prior to September, ending August with a 3.45 ERA, 31 saves in 37 chances, and a 67/24 K/BB ratio in 47 innings.

Yoshihisa Hirano, Brad Ziegler, Archie Bradley, and Andrew Chafin could all see some save opportunities down the stretch. The D-Backs entered Monday’s action 2.5 games out of first place in the NL West and three games out of the second Wild Card slot, so this change will certainly have an impact on whether or not the D-Backs reach the postseason and in what fashion.

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.