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Cubs pick up Anthony Rizzo’s 2020 option

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Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs have picked up their 2020 club option for first baseman Anthony Rizzo at $16.5 million. The Cubs also hold a club option for the 2021 season at $16.5 million.

Rizzo, 30, had another terrific season for the Cubs in 2019, batting .293/.405/.520 with 27 home runs, 94 RBI, and 89 runs scored across 613 plate appearances. Towards the end of the season, as the Cubs went on a losing streak that pushed them out of playoff contention, Rizzo dealt with a sprained ankle. He has otherwise been quite durable in his eight seasons with the Cubs.

Rizzo will reprise his role at first base, but the Cubs are going through some changes. The club hired David Ross to replace Joe Maddon as manager. Elsewhere, Cole Hamels, Ben Zobrist, Nick Castellanos, Derek Holland, and Jonathan Lucroy have become free agents, so there will be a bit of roster turnover.

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.