Although the out-of-contention Royals are reportedly willing to trade almost all of their players, it’s clear general manager Dayton Moore has his limits. Moore wants a bounty in return if he’s going to deal utilityman Whit Merrifield, while he seems wholly uninterested in moving left fielder Alex Gordon, per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com.
“I couldn’t imagine Alex Gordon in another uniform,” Moore said.
To this point, the 35-year-old Gordon never has played anywhere else, having been a Royal dating back to the 2005 draft. Fourteen years ago, the Royals used the second overall pick on Gordon, who now stands as one of the most accomplished and beloved players in franchise history.
The defensively adept Gordon’s offensive numbers have fallen off since the Royals signed him to a four-year, $72MM contract entering 2016, however. With a .260/.341/.446 line, 10 home runs and a 107 wRC+ through 309 plate appearances this year, Gordon’s enjoying his first above-average campaign since 2015. Although, an unproductive June has somewhat undone an impressive first two months of the season.
In theory, had Gordon kept up the torrid pace he was on earlier this season, it would’ve boosted his trade value. But even if Moore wants to deal Gordon, the player could veto a move. Gordon, who has 10-and-5 rights, already indicated in May that he’d shoot down any potential trade.
With Gordon having said he doesn’t want to play anywhere else, Moore’s comments aren’t all that noteworthy with respect to this season. Gordon could become a free agent in the offseason, however, and Moore’s words may imply the Royals are interested in retaining him past 2019. Gordon said last month he’s leaning toward playing next year. If so, he’s sure to exercise his half of a $23MM mutual option. The Royals will decline the option in favor of a $4MM buyout, though the sides may be able to work out a new deal that’s more palatable for the team if Gordon continues his career.