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Greg Holland named official closer for Diamondbacks

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The Diamondbacks have announced that Greg Holland will serve as the team’s official closer to start the season. That comes as a bit of a surprise as Holland pitched just 3 2/3 innings this spring, yielding five runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

Archie Bradley was considered to be the favorite to be the closer. However, as The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan notes, Bradley will still pitch in high-leverage situations. Closers aren’t always pitching in the toughest spots or against the most fearsome part of the opposing lineup, so the titles don’t mean a whole lot in today’s game outside of contract negotiations and arbitration hearings.

Holland, 33, signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the D-Backs on February 1. He split last season between the Cardinals and Nationals, posting an aggregate 4.66 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 26 walks in 46 1/3 innings.

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.