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Photo: MLB

#9

CF

Dee Gordon

Devaris Strange-Gordon

Height: 5'11"    Weight: 168

Bats/Throws: Left / Right

Born: 04/22/1988 in Windermere, Florida

Offseason home: Windermere, Florida

Acquired: In trade from the Miami Marlins, with international slot money, for Robert Dugger, Nick Neidert, and Christopher Torres (12/07/2017)

MLB Debut: 06/06/2011

Free Agent after: 2021 season

Twitter handle: @FlashGJr

It's a gamble.

The Mariners had an opportunity to acquire Gordon—an elite-level speedster, leadoff bat, and Gold Glove defender—but his defensive positions in the middle infield were occupied long-term with Robinson Canó and Jean Segura. But the team did need a center fielder and had already been turned down by free agent John Jay. Could Gordon play there? He never had before, but several other noteworthy players had successfully transitioned from middle-infield to center field—Robin Yount, Craig Biggio, Billy Hamilton, Chris Taylor—and he certainly has the athleticism and speed required. So GM Jerry Dipoto went for it. And we'll see how it plays out.

Early returns were good—better than good, fantastic—as Gordon learned the ropes in spring training. He's proven to be a natural talent and a dedicated student, soaking up information from anyone he could on how to position himself in different circumstances, how to read the flight of a batted ball, how to communicate with the corner outfielders. Said M's outfield coach Chris Prieto, "If you watch him during games he’s moving on counts, he is just doing things that veteran outfielders would do." And range is not an issue. When told that Statcast had rated him the fourth-fastest player in the bigs last year, Gordon, whose footspeed has been clocked at over 21mph, protested: "Someone who cannot run made up that stat. I'm faster than everybody."

The son of former Major League reliever Tom "Flash" Gordon, Dee spends a great deal of time and money on charitable causes. In addition to working with organizations in the Dominican Republic and that aid Syrian refugees, Gordon founded Flash of Hope, a program for children who have lost a parent to domestic violence—something he went through himself when his mother was shot and killed by an ex-boyfriend when Dee was six. It's a devastating experience, to be sure, and Gordon wants to help others through it. “I just want to show them that the world isn’t over for them," he said, "that they’re going to be all right.”

TH