Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's okay, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Alex Gordon wasn't the premier outfielder on the free agent market thanks to Jason Heyward, but he's still deserving of a significant contract. He'll be 32 in 2016, and has batted .281/.359/.450 since 2011 despite the pitcher-friendly confines of Kauffman Stadium. He's also been one of the finest defensive left fielders in the game since moving to the position, and while his advanced defensive metrics dipped in that regard this past summer, he still passes the eye test out there. Those numbers aren't perfect, you know.
Despite all this, he's likely leaving the Royals he helped bring a World Series championship to. Kansas City just isn't offering him enough money to stay, as the most recent report out there says they're talking about a four-year deal worth about $13 million per season. That's not an offer someone like Gordon gets from a team expecting him to say yes. That's a team submitting something because they think it looks better than nothing.
At 32, Gordon doesn't need a 10-year promise or anything like that, but the idea of him making less than the 35-year-old Ben Zobrist on his next contract is foolish. Gordon is likely to pick up something in the $18 million to $20 million range, especially since he's not so young that an opt-out to drop the overall money is likely in his contract. This is his last, best chance to get paid. Something like a five-year, $90 million pact, or five years and $100 million, is in his future -- the Royals are offering about half of that if the reports are true. It's unclear where Gordon will sign, but it won't be with Kansas City if their plan doesn't change.
- The White Sox, Dodgers and Reds completed a three-team trade that put Todd Frazier in Chicago. Frazier isn't the very best third baseman around, but the White Sox haven't had one as productive as he's been since their current manager was patrolling the hot corner. Plus, he was cheap.
- The White Sox are still an outfielder short, thanks to Avisail Garcia's failure to develop, but if they want to open up their wallets for the likes of Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, or Justin Upton, that can be solved in a hurry.
- The Reds received their Frazier return from the Dodgers, who sent a package headlined by Jose Peraza.
- As for the Dodgers, they could have just had Frazier, but are betting on Justin Turner and some new prospect faces instead.
- The deal makes sense for all three teams, though it is worth wondering what it is the Dodgers are doing shuffling prospects around instead of going big.
- The Orioles are the winners of the race for the KBO's Hyun-soo Kim, and for just $7 million over two years.
- The evolution of bullpens is changing baseball, and not everyone is okay with that.
- The Red Sox still have four of the top prospects in baseball after the Craig Kimbrel trade, and their top-10 players under-25 list is a thing of beauty. Well, if you like the Sox, anyway.
- The Indians solved their first base issues by signing Mike Napoli to a deal with incentives. Napoli struggled to begin 2015, but from May 22 onward he hit .245/.347/.457. The Indians will be happy if he approaches that again, given the rest of the first base market.
- The Giants probably can't sign a left fielder, but they might not be able to trade for one, either.