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Report: Athletics to sign Brett Anderson

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics and pitcher Brett Anderson are close to an agreement on a major league contract, pending a physical.

Anderson tweeted, “Fingers crossed for a passed physical tomorrow.”

Anderson, 31, signed a minor league contract with the A’s last March, making 17 starts during the regular season with a 4.48 ERA and a 47/13 K/BB ratio in 80 1/3 innings. The lefty battled a shoulder injury that kept him out between mid-May and early July. Anderson has historically had trouble staying healthy, crossing the 20-start threshold just once in a season (2015) since after his rookie campaign in 2009. He has made a total of 33 starts over the last three seasons.

For at least the first half of the upcoming season, the Athletics’ rotation will be missing Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, and Daniel Gossett, so Anderson will provide some much-needed depth at the back end. The front end of the rotation is not particularly inspiring as it includes Mike Fiers, Daniel Mengden, and Marco Estrada. Carrie Muskat reported for the Associated Press yesterday that the A’s are considering using “openers,” popularized by the Rays last year. Anderson could potentially be one of the starters who doesn’t officially start if the club opts to use an opener.

Jorge Soler hits Royals’ first home run in nearly two weeks

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The 16-31, last place Royals had a power outage lasting nearly two weeks. Entering Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals, Jorge Soler had hit the club’s most recent home run, a solo shot off of the Phillies’ Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning on May 10. That time frame spanned eight games.

Soler ended the home run drought, hitting a three-run round-tripper off of Michael Wacha to cap off a six-run third inning in the first game of the twin billing, staking the Royals to a 7-0 lead.

Soler, 27, is now batting .249/.303/.497 with 11 homers, 30 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 198 plate appearances on the season. He’s the only member of the Royals currently in double-digits in homers, though Hunter Dozier (nine) and Alex Gordon (eight) should soon join him.