Robbie Ray
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Report: Diamondbacks may listen to offers on Robbie Ray after all

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that “teams are calling” about Diamondbacks southpaw Robbie Ray, with the Astros and Phillies at the top of that list. Ray was previously thought to be nearly untouchable this offseason, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic previously suggested that the team had a “really high bar” on any package deal involving the lefty, while USA Today’s Bob Nightengale said several teams had been told he was unavailable. It’s not yet clear if much has changed or whether a frontrunner has emerged in any trade talks.

Ray, 27, got off to a disappointing start with the D-backs in 2018. After receiving his first All-Star nomination and pitching to some career-high marks the year before, he struggled through a difficult stretch in April and had just started to get a handle on his mechanics before he was hit with an oblique injury. He didn’t appear on another major league mound until the end of June, and went 7-11 in 18 starts with a 3.66 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 11.2 SO/9 through 96 innings in the second half of the season.

Injuries and mechanical issues aside, Ray’s best days aren’t far behind him, and his talent — coupled with two more years of team control — should fetch a hefty return in any trade offer the Diamondbacks see fit to accept. Of course, whether or not they do so hinges on the prospect of a full-scale rebuild, something they still seem reluctant to enter into after dealing All-Star slugger Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals earlier this month.

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.