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Corey Kluber trade looking less likely

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One of the weirdest thing this offseason has been the Indians’ reported desire to trade ace Corey Kluber. They have engaged with the Reds, Padres, Brewers and Dodgers regarding the possibility, though nothing has come together.

Why a team would want to trade its best starter in the middle of what should be a multi-year stretch of contention is beyond me, but most things point to the Tribe wanting to cut payroll. Apparently they have accomplished that mission because MLB.com’s Jon Morosi writes that the possibility of a Corey Kluber trade is “diminishing by the day.”

Kluber, 32, is a two-time AL Cy Young Award winner. This past season, Kluber went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings. He finished third in Cy Young balloting behind Blake Snell and Justin Verlander. He’ll make $17 million this season, then has two club options for the 2020-21 seasons at $17.5 million and $18 million, respectively, each with $1 million buyouts. For a pitcher of his caliber, that’s a bargain.

If you’re rooting for the Indians to win baseball games rather than to reach a certain, pre-defined level of profitability, the diminishing prospects of a Kluber trade should be good news to you.

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.