Though Alex Gordon is entering his last guaranteed year under contract with the Royals, the outfielder tells Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star that “not one bit” of talks have taken place about an extension. “I love it here. This is where I want to play,” Gordon said. “But you have to realize the situation. Maybe it won’t happen, maybe it will.”
Gordon has a $13.25MM player option for 2016 that he was originally intending to exercise as of last summer, though he said last month that he wasn’t sure if he would pick his option up. If Gordon has a good 2015 season, declining the option would put him in line for an expensive multi-year contract on the free agent market.
Mellinger’s piece outlines the pros and cons of extending Gordon from the Royals’ perspective. On the pro side, Gordon has been a productive player, they have no ready-made replacement for his bat or outstanding left field glove, and the popular Gordon has been a “face of the franchise” for the last decade. On the con side, a Gordon extension would surely be the most expensive contract in Royals history and they may not want to spend that much on a player who will be entering his age-32 season in 2016.
Gordon did undergo wrist surgery in December and has yet to appear in any Spring Training action, so it could be that the Royals simply want to make sure that he’s recovered before discussing a new deal. Still, I agree with Mellinger that it’s rather surprising that Kansas City hasn’t at least broached the subject of an extension with Gordon or his representatives at Excel Sports Management. Most players don’t want to negotiate new contracts once the season begins, so even if no agreement is reached now, K.C. could at least lay some groundwork for further talks after the season.