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Report: Royals to decline Alex Gordon’s 2020 option

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Jon Heyman reports that the Royals are expected to decline their half of outfielder Alex Gordon‘s 2020 mutual option worth $23 million. Instead, they will buy him out for $4 million and hope to re-sign him at a cheaper price.

Gordon, 35, has put up subpar offensive seasons for the last four years, batting an aggregate .237/.320/.366 with 52 home runs and 215 RBI. He’s still an above-average defender, but he is not as adept out there as he used to be, understandably.

Gordon, a three-time All-Star and six-time Gold Glove Award winner, helped the Royals win the 2015 World Series. His best years, sadly, are behind him.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).