The KC Royals will try to re-sign free agents Alex Gordon and Ben Zobrist this winter, according to New York Post reporter Joel Sherman. However, sources are telling CBSports.com’s Jon Heyman that the Kansas City Royals will non-tender former closer Greg Holland rather than pick up his final arbitration year.
Earlier this season, I argued that the price for the soon to be 32-year-old Alex Gordon would zoom beyond the KC Royals means. Yet, with him re-iterating that he wants to stay in Kansas City, Gordon might just give the Kansas City Royals enough of a hometown discount that keeping him makes sense.
Any way you cut it, Alex Gordon’s off season market figures to be one of the most compelling stories of the winter. Will the Nebraska-born Gordon choose to remain with the team he rooted for as a child? Or will big bucks and new challenges lure Alex Gordon to the big city?
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals would also like to bring back Ben Zobrist. Zobrist will be 35 next season, but is one of the most versatile players in the league who can play every position on the field except catcher.
Ben Zobrist also helped balance the Kansas City Royals free-swinging offense as a patient switch hitter who can draw walks. While most everyone in Kansas City would love to install him at second base and figure out some way to unload Omar Infante‘s contract this winter, Zobrist is also a popular target among free-agent suitors.
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The New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves could be eyeing Zobrist in free agency. Heck, Zobrist is such a useful commodity with his solid bat and versatility, that he’d help almost every team in baseball.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals will likely be forced to non-tender former closer Greg Holland after he underwent Tommy John surgery last month. The recovery time is approximately a year, and the KC Royals only control him for one more arbitration year.
Since injury counts as service time, the Kansas City Royals would get little to no value by tendering Holland a contract. Instead, look for the club to offer Holland a two-year deal, with hopes that he might recover in time for a 2016 playoff run.
KC Royals general manager Dayton Moore will have his work cut out for him as he tries to keep a productive core together from his 2015 World Champion squad.