Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

Will Alex Gordon be a Royal in 2016? Maybe not.

Kansas City Royals’ outfielder Alex Gordon, the guy who was 90 feet away from tying the game in the ninth inning of game seven of the 2014 World Series, has a player option for 2016 on his contract. 

He can stay with the Royals by picking up the option in favor of free agency. It would be the logical decision for a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner. The $13.25 million dollar option is more than substantially less than what a player of his caliber would command.

Alex Gordon. Getty Images.
Alex Gordon. Getty Images.

Besides his obvious talent with the glove, he’s a guy who’s guaranteed to hit about .260 and will hit you between 15-20 home runs a season. He’s pretty valuable and missing a year of free agency would be a silly thing to do. Baseball is a business and it’s a bad business decision.

Still, Gordon says the would like to remain with the Royals past the 2015 season, 

“I want to stay here. Absolutely. It’s close to home. Kansas City almost feels like my hometown. We love the city. We love everybody in this organization. And obviously it’s in a good place right now. It’s come a long way. And I want to be a part of the success that I think we’re still going to have.”

Yet, we’ve seen this before. Of course the player would like to stay but when better opportunities await, it’s prudent of them to make the smartest business decision. 

As Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star writes

“Now they will ask “Will he stay?” Or, as the rest of the industry phrases it, “Can Kansas City keep him?”

It’s going to come down to a big decision for Royals GM Dayton Moore. What the Royals need to do in order to keep Gordon is sign him to an extention, a likely very exspensive extension, prior to his having the choice to pick up the option or opt for free agency.

There is the question about the offseason surgery he had on his wrist for Moore to consider as well as if there are options in their farm system that they could use if Gordon were to leave after 2015 and there is always the question of the fans.

Gordon is beyond a fan favorite among the Royals’ faithful. Can Moore disappoint them like that? As an A’s fan I know how that feels, when a franchise type player isn’t really asked to stay.

After the 2002 season, Miguel Tejada (who had just won the AL MVP) had one more year with the A’s and already it was known that was, literally. not being asked back. The A’s wouldn’t even consider making him an offer because they felt they couldn’t afford the market price and Tejada really wanted to stay. I heard it in his own words at by the pool at the hotel at spring training in 2003. 

Yordano Ventura. Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Yordano Ventura. Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Of course that isn’t the case with Alex Gordon yet. They haven’t talked extension, they have barely breached the subject. But Moore and the organization need to decided if paying Gordon what he could get on the free agent market is the right thing to do. 

With money invested in players like Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis etc, they’ll have to work out whether giving Gordon an extension will hinder them from keeping some of their new and younger stars like Eric Hosmer and Yordano Ventura.

In the end it comes down to this: Gordon wants to stay but will likely opt for free agency without a significant extension. And the question is what will the Royals do? Can they afford a lenghty, high-priced extension and is Gordon worthone? Can they keep him?

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