The Royals and longtime franchise cornerstone Alex Gordon are in talks to orchestrate a new deal this week that will keep Gordon in Kansas City, according to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com (via Twitter). MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that it’s “hard to imagine” Gordon doesn’t return for another season. 2020 would be his age-36 season.
An estimate of the price point isn’t yet known, though it’s safe to say any new deal (likely a one-year pact) will pay Gordon a good bit less than the $23MM he would’ve taken home had his 2020 option been exercised. He’s already collected a $4MM buyout after the Royals declined their end of the mutual option.
There’s no doubt that Gordon is no longer the player he was at the time that contract extension was signed. Still, he graded out as a net positive for the 2019 Royals, and his .741 OPS was his highest mark since 2015. He earned yet another Gold Glove award—his third straight and the seventh of his career—and was one of just a few veterans on an otherwise youthful Royals club. And with a new manager heading the clubhouse in 2020, Gordon could be an especially valuable presence as Mike Matheny acclimates to his new situation.
Gordon has made it known that he will only continue his career in the Royals uniform that he has worn for his entire career, which began in 2005 when he was Kansas City’s first-round draft choice. The only remaining question was whether Gordon would retire after playing the 2019 season at age 35. At this point, it appears retirement is off the table. And with mutual interest between the two sides, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be. Despite some promising young Major Leaguers and a burgeoning farm system, the Royals still look to be a few years away from genuine contention, so bringing Gordon back at little cost can hardly hurt their situation.