Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
After having surgery to repair his wrist this winter, Alex Gordon is almost ready to join his teammates in Cactus League action. The Royals’ star left fielder is scheduled to play tomorrow afternoon against the White Sox, where he’ll bat third in the order. Ned Yost is planning on having Gordon bat second Sunday, but with Lorenzo Cain set to take tomorrow off, Gordon will take his place.
It seems like Gordon’s recovery is going exactly as planned, which is certainly a huge relief for the Royals, as they don’t have anyone capable of providing Gordon’s value in all aspects of the game. They’ll need him to be fully healthy in order to have any hope of defending their pennant.
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Gordon is coming off yet another great season, in which he had a 122 wRC+ and 19 home runs, while also collecting his fourth consecutive Gold Glove award. He is the face of the franchise, and the Royals are hoping they can get at least one more productive season from him.
I say “at least,” because this could be the last year Gordon spends in a Royals uniform. He holds a player option for 2016, but a typical season from him could net him close to $90 million on the open market, were he to test it. As of now, the two sides have not had talks about a future extension, so there is uncertainty.
However, I’m not that worried. Yet. Gordon has expressed how much he loves the organization, and the Royals don’t have anyone lined up to replace him, so it would make sense to work something out, as I suggested a couple of months ago. But the Royals want to make sure Gordon is healthy before committing a franchise record number of dollars to a 31-year old coming off wrist surgery, and Gordon can get his money whenever he wants it, so there’s no rush on his end.
Once Gordon proves himself to be healthy, I would expect the team to approach him and his agent about getting a contract together. I could be wrong, but it feels like both sides want to make it happen. Gordon is already one of the best Royals in history, and he could cement his status as a legend with a few more productive years.
Of course, those productive years have to start somewhere, and as for right now, it looks like they’ll start tomorrow against the White Sox in Arizona. As long as everything continues to progress as planned, Gordon won’t have any problem being ready to face that same team in Kansas City just over two weeks from now.