Last month Jon Heyman reported that Alex Gordon informed the Royals they had “no chance” of bringing him back based on their then-current offer. That offer must’ve been less than four-years and a bit over $70 million, then, because Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com is reporting that Gordon and the Royals have agreed to a multi-year deal in that range. It was Ken Rosenthal who first mentioned the numbers and Jeff Passan of Yahoo had the first rumblings this morning that a deal was near. UPDATE: Jon Heyman is reporting that the deal is four years, $72 million.
No matter who reported it, however, it’s big, big news for the defending World Series champions. Gordon is a Gold Glove-caliber corner outfielder and, while there may be better players on the Royals, he has been there longer than anyone, is a fan favorite and has been described as the team’s heart and soul. His leaving in free agency, as most people thought would happen, would’ve left a pretty significant hole on the roster and in the clubhouse. And the fans would’ve been really, really bummed.
Gordon turns 32 next month. He’s a career .269./.348/.435 hitter, but in the past five years he’s hit .281 with an .809 OPS while consistently rating among the best all-around outfielders in baseball. As he elevated his game, so too did the Royals.
Is $70 million over four years a lot for a 32-year-old outfielder? Yep. But the Royals and their owner David Glass can afford it. And the Royals fans, who stuck it out through the lean years and are now finally enjoying the success of the past two, deserve to have their favorite star hang around a few years longer.