As expected, the Kansas City Royals have re-signed franchise cornerstone, Alex Gordon, to a one-year deal worth $4 million. This season will be Gordon’s 14th, playing all of them as a Royal. The Royals have made the corresponding move of designating pitcher Heath Fillmyer for assignment to make room for Gordon on the 40-man roster.
General Manager Dayton Moore expressed his excitement with the return of Gordon, saying “He is one of the most driven players in the game today. He represents everything the league wants in a player. He can still play at a high level, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. He’s the player that everyone strives to be.”
The leadership and experience Gordon brings to the table is huge for the younger players. He can serve as a mentor, setting a good example, while playing at a high level.
Gordon, who turns 36 in under a month, became a free agent after the Royals declined his fifth-year mutual option worth $23 million, that came with his 4-year, $72 million contract he signed after the 2015 season. With FanFest this week, Gordon’s deal could not come at a better time, as he will be in attendance for the event.
Multiple teams were interested in adding Gordon to their roster. The Braves had interest at the trade deadlines last season and this offseason. However, Gordon has constantly said the only team he wants to play for is the Kansas City Royals. After the Royals signed slugger and 2019 American League Home Run King, Jorge Soler, to a one-year, $7.3 million deal to avoid arbitration, Moore said the focus was shifted to bring Gordon back.
Gordon, a Nebraska native, has been known for his stellar defense over his career. He’s earned a total of seven Gold Gloves and one Platinum Glove (2014) at left field. Don’t forget the most clutch at-bat of his career came in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series. Gordon hit a game-tying solo home run in the ninth inning off Mets closer Jeurys Familia. The Royals went on to win the game in extra innings. Throughout his career, Gordon has an average of .258 with 186 Home Runs, which ranks fourth in franchise history, and 738 RBIs, which ranks sixth in franchise history. The three-time All-Star is coming off a strong season last year. He hit .266 with 13 home runs and 76 RBIs, which is his highest RBI total since 2013. Gordon played in 150 games and recorded 633 plate appearances, his highest totals since the 2014 season.
Along with Dayton Moore, players could not contain their excitement for the return of Gordo.
“We are thrilled to have Gordo back.” said 2019 breakout star, Hunter Dozier. “He’s the leader of our clubhouse, and it’s really important to have guys like him around when you have a young team like we do.”
Star utility-man and two-time reigning American League Hits leader, Whit Merrifield, who is locker neighbors with Gordon added “I can’t tell you how excited we are to have Gordo back. Probably the second-greatest player to ever wear a Royals uniform. What he means to this team and this city goes beyond numbers. He instantly makes any team better, and I’m so pumped we got him back.”
Gordon will return to left field as the everyday starter, with Whit Merrifield in center, and new right fielder, Hunter Dozier. Dozier was moved to right field after the signing of free-agent third baseman Maikel Franco in December. Outfielders Brett Phillips and Bubba Starling will take over backup roles in the outfield, as they have no options to the minors left.
In part of his deal, Gordon waived his 10-and-5 rights. That means if the Royals were to trade him, he would receive a $500,000 assignment bonus.
When asked about the possibility of trading Gordon, Moore said “I don’t think this is a situation where Alex feels like this is his last year. He is very competitive and he wants to win, above all else. But I don’t think [trading him] is something we have even considered. We are hoping to be much more competitive this season.”
Personally, Alex Gordon is and has been my favorite baseball player. The way he goes out every game and put everything out on the line is inspiring. He lays out for balls, isn’t afraid to get dirty, and takes being hit to help the team out. As a baseball player, I tried to be like Gordon by doing everything in my power to keep us in the game and give everything I have. Gordon’s leadership is so rare too. He lets his play do a lot of the talking, but he has a true connection with each of his teammates as a mentor to help them get better and be more prepared.
Alex Gordon is the prime example of a baseball player, giving everything he has to make the team better. When you think of the Kansas City Royals, you see Alex Gordon. Alex Gordon is the true definition of a Kansas City Royal.
I was getting worried about the Royals re-signing Gordon when it had taken a long time. I was starting to think he was leaning more towards retirement and was just waiting for the announcement. Once I read that the focus was on Gordon after the Soler deal, I had a huge sigh of relief. Having Gordon back just makes me so much happier to watch the team and go to games to see a sure-fire Royals Hall of Famer and a possible name on a Hall of Fame ballot. I am so happy to have him back and be able to watch him for another year. I wasn’t ready and I am still not ready for him to hang up his cleats.
As the Royals gear up for Spring Training, with pitchers and catchers reporting in under three weeks, adding Gordon is just what every Royals fan wanted to hear, as nobody is ready to see him hang up his cleats.
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