There was no way Alex Gordon was ever going to don another uniform
The Kansas City Royals wouldn’t really seem like the same World Champion Kansas City Royals without Alex Gordon, would they? And how would Gordon look in some other team’s uniform? Yeah, I thought so. The two parties agreed to a deal Wednesday and is expected to be made official Thursday. The Royals get their left fielder back and Gordon gets the job security he was likely seeking with the team that he began his career with.
Gordon has had his ups and downs but the Royals have always been there for him. Gordon missed 113 games in 2009 after injuring his hip on a force play at second. In 2010 Gordon injured his thumb during Spring Training, began the year on the disabled list and was later demoted to Triple-A. He was limited to just 74 big league games that year but returned healthy in 2011.
Since then he’s won four Gold Gloves, led the league in doubles and made three All-Star appearances. However in 2015 he was limited to 104 games due to a groin injury. He was named to the 2015 All-Star team but was ultimately replaced by Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees.
The deal between Gordon and the Royals is for four years and $72 million. It includes a mutual option for the 2020 season and is, wisely on the Royals part, still pending a physical. Given his injury history the physical makes sense but it seems inevitable that Gordon will remain a Royal.
He decided to test the free agent waters after declining a one-year $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Royals but it always seemed, to me at least,that Kansas City was where he really belonged. He was drafted by the Royals with the second overall pick in the 2005 draft. He’s a home grown player and one of the main faces of the franchise and the Royals’ revival.
This season is likely the end of the Royals’ championship window. They have already been to the World Series the past two seasons, winning one. If they want to three-peat their claim on the American League Pennant then they will need Gordon, arguably one of the league’s best defensive left fielders. In 2017 the Royals will have six major players entering free agency including other big names like Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and closer Wade Davis. There is no way that the team will be able to afford to keep all of them unless they plan to drastically increase their payroll which isn’t likely.
Getting Gordon back not only improves the teams chances on going to a third straight World Series, he’s now going to remain the face of the franchise, likely for the remainder of his career. This contract will take Gordon through his age 35 and potentially age 36 seasons. He could be a lifelong Royal who hit a key home run in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series against the Mets. His homer tied the game, taking it into extra innings. The Royals won in 14 innings and eventually became the World Champions.
Gordon and the Royals are the perfect match. He probably could have gotten more money from another team like the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants or the Los Angeles Angels – all of whom are looking for a left fielder. Instead he went back to Kansas City, where he is the most comfortable and is a fan favorite.
Gordon and the Royals are meant to stay together. Did you really think it would end up any other way?