To most baseball prognosticators and experts, it is a foregone conclusion that Alex Gordon is in his last few months as a member of the Kansas City Royals. he is expected to decline his $12.5 Million player option for next season, opting into free agency. With his four consecutive Gold Gloves, solid all around game on offense and relative youth, since Gordon will be 32 heading into next season, he is expected to be an attractive free agent and command quite the hefty price tag.
However, it may not be that easy for Gordon to escape Kansas City. According to Jon Heyman, the Royals are determined to make him the first star to remain with the team for his entire career since George Brett retired in 1993. With this year’s slogan being “Forever Royal,” it would be an excellent time to lock Gordon up for the rest of his career.
It is easy to understand why the Royals and Gordon would be interested in such a pairing. He has become the new Face of the Franchise, with his initial struggles on the field before blossoming into stardom a mirror for the Royals over the past few years. The young team that had potential finally came together in 2013, and the winning has continued.
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There is a deeper connection to the area than just the Kansas City Royals. Alex Gordon grew up in Nebraska, a local product that has become a star close to where it all began. His brother, Derek Gordon, was signed by the Royals from the American Association, and is currently toiling in their system as a right handed starter. Gordon was also the first of the Royals truly prized prospects to come up, making him the longest tenured player at this point.
Naturally, the financial aspect of an extension would matter. As Heyman points out, if Gordon is looking for a contract similar to what Shin-Soo Choo received, seven years at $130 Million, it would be difficult to imagine him staying with Kansas City. However, if the Royals can get a home town discount, or if Gordon’s market is not nearly that strong due to his hamstring injury suffered at the beginning of July, the chances increase that he will remain in Kansas City.
For years, Mike Sweeney was that player who stayed when the rest of the Royals young talent went elsewhere, either in free agency or in trades. Yet, in the end, even Sweeney left, searching for that elusive chance at the postseason. With Gordon, he has already tasted postseason success with the Royals, and will hopefully be able to take care of the unfinished business of bringing a World Series title back to Kansas City this year.
Perhaps that winning culture and his local roots will allow the Kansas City Royals to truly make Alex Gordon Forever Royal. It would be great to see another home grown talent remain in Kansas City, spending his entire career with the Royals. Hopefully, Dayton Moore, David Glass and the front office can make this happen.