Keeping Alex Gordon Is Why KC Royals Should Trade Greg Holland


The other day, I rated Greg Holland as the KC Royals best trade asset as the deadline approaches. However, I neglected to mention the best reason to deal Holland: to make room for an Alex Gordon extension.

The 31-year-old Alex Gordon is in the final year of his contract. While he does hold a player option with the Kansas City Royals for another year at his current salary of $12.5 million, most analysts believe that he will command too much money on the free-agent marketplace to exercise it. In fact, Gordon backed off his assertion that he would pick up his option that he made last August.

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CBS Sports baseball insider Jon Heyman says Gordon would be “into charity” if he played for the KC Royals under his player option.

It’s pretty clear that the Kansas City Royals will need to pony up some serious cash to keep Alex Gordon. KC Kingdom’s Leigh Oleszczak believes the Royals will have a tough time preventing Gordon from leaving in free-agency next offseason.

While Gordon will be expensive, the impulse that led him to say he would delay free-agency by picking up his option year suggests he might take a home-town discount to stay with the Kansas City Royals. Thus, I hope that the KC Royals only have to make a competitive offer to keep Alex Gordon, rather than make the best offer.

Royals Review’s Matt LeMar made the case that Gordon could command $100 million on the open market by comparing his performance to some recent free-agent deals for outfielders in their early 30’s.

Give the above reality, I can’t see Gordon signing with the Kansas City Royals for anything less than a four-year, $80 million deal.

Remember, also, that Eric Hosmer gets more expensive in 2016, while Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain are in line for big boosts in their second arbitration years. Even with the massive bump in revenue from strong attendance in 2015, the KC Royals will have a hard time finding the cash to re-sign Gordon.

Here we come to another reason to deal Greg Holland. Adding Holland’s current salary to Gordon’s current $12.5 million contract, and general manager Dayton Moore will have freed up about $21 million to sign Gordon. Suddenly, a four-year, $80 million deal seems within reach.

Notice that Moore refused to bring back 2014 ace James Shields at four years, and $75 million.

While a four-year deal for a player that will be 32-years-old is a risk, Alex Gordon keeps himself in phenomenal shape. If there is anyone worth the money for the KC Royals, it’s a known quantity like Gordon—who is a clubhouse leader whose habits they know better than anyone.

Dayton Moore faces a tough decision with his outfield if he allows Gordon to walk next season. Alex Rios is on a one-year deal, which means the KC Royals will need to find starters at both corner outfield positions. While keeping Gordon is a decision Moore doesn’t need to make until the off-season, he might get better value for Holland at the trade deadline.

The bottom line is that losing Alex Gordon will hurt the Kansas Royals outfield more than losing Greg Holland from a stacked bullpen.

Next: Greg Holland Is KC Royals Best Trade Asset

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