Kansas City Royals: 5-year trend shows Alex Gordon not worth mutual option

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Alex Gordon was the Kansas City Royals 2005 draft pick and will be 36 when the 2020 season starts. His five-year trend shows he’s not worth the option.

Last week I put out an article stating that the Kansas City Royals need to find a way to keep Alex Gordon around in 2020. A veteran presence can have positive effects on a rebuilding team and Gordon stated that he only wants to play for one team. Here’s the catch. His 2020 mutual option is really expensive for a player his age and given his production.

I enjoy looking at numbers, analyzing them, and doing some really nerdy things with them. It’s probably why I enjoy this sport so much. Anyways, I wandered down a wormhole of looking at Alex Gordon’s last 5 seasons. Granted we still have a month to go in 2019 but there’s more than enough statistics to provide what we need.

Production of a player can be broken down into batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, and RBI’s. I looked at Gordon’s 2015-2019 seasons, averaged those numbers and then subtracted 10 percent of the average to account for regression, which naturally happens as a player gets older.

What I found was that Alex Gordon’s numbers next season would look something like this:

  • Batting average: 0.217
  • On-base percentage: 0.295
  • Slugging percentage: 0.342
  • Home runs: 12
  • RBI’s: 50

It’s interesting because then I was curious to see what Fangraphs’ 3-year projections had to say regarding Gordon’s production for 2020. Ready for this?

  • Batting average: 0.227
  • On-base percentage: 0.309
  • Slugging percentage: 0.341
  • Home runs: 9
  • RBI’s: 38

To me that say they are using a similar methodology to predict his stats and what this ultimately means is those numbers definitely don’t warrant the Royals picking up his $20 million mutual option for next season.

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I still stand by that if they can come to an agreement for a one-year deal with an option for 2021 worth well less than the mutual option amount, I’d be fine with him returning to the team next season. However, the Royals would be crazy to give him that kind of money to be a projected 0.5 WAR player.