Alex Gordon: Reactions and Analysis

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At last, the Royals finally signed Alex Gordon. Gordon’s deal is for four years, worth $72 million. At the beginning of the offseason, Kansas City Star’s (now in LA)  Andy McCullough said that if Gordon wanted to stick around, he would’ve extended last year. Well, he was wrong, and now, Alex Gordon is well on his way to becoming this generation’s George Brett.

When he first came up in 2007, nobody thought he would stick around for very long. He was a very underwhelming third baseman, with not a lot of offensive potential either. His path to success wasn’t all that straight, but he got there. Gordon worked tirelessly to learn a completely new position, and didn’t quit until he was, quite literally, the very best at it. It wasn’t until 2011 that his hard work had finally paid off, but when it did… It did.

Dayton Moore said at Alex Gordon’s press conference that he hadn’t met anyone who didn’t admire Alex Gordon. Some of the newer fans don’t exactly feel the same way.  Some people think he will start to decline because of his drop in production in 2015, but they forget to factor in his injuries. Yes, he's 32 years old, and certainly not getting any younger. While Baseball Reference projects a drop off in batting average at .264, he’ll still sit right around .350 for on-base percentage, and slug close to .430. Alex Gordon isn't the type of person who is content with being average, so these numbers will probably be a lot higher, especially if the Royals don't bat him eighth.

There wasn't an aspect of this contract that is bad for either side. Gordon will make $12 million in 2016, jump to $15 million in 2017, and his remaining two years, he’ll receive $20 million dollars, with a 5th year mutual option worth $23 million. Gordon gets to stay in a comfortable place with a near guarantee of winning, and the Royals get to keep the face of their franchise. The move also sets the tone for future free agents like Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Salvador Perez. Barring major regression or a huge payroll increase, Eric Hosmer won't be returning once his contract runs out. Realistically, the Royals have a good chance of keeping two out of the four players in the previous bunch.

 

Fan reactions:

Ryan Landreth (@ryan_landreth) chimed in on the signing of the Royals’ superstar, “It's a huge moment from the perspective of being a Royals fan, as we've been so used to watching anybody sign for a decent contract have no chance at coming to Kansas City. In addition to keeping the team's best player, the organization has proved to its fans that it's committed to continuing the winning tradition that has been installed here the last few years.

Rylan Stiles (Rylan_Stiles) also said, “I feel like signing him back solidified him as our generation’s  George Brett. He will now officially go down as one of the best Royals player ever, and will be in the Royals HOF, and have the number four retired. Not only that, but in insurance he is going to play the rest of his prime, if not whole career, in KC. Most importantly, it makes KC a contender for 2016 one of the last years before we lose someone out of this core.”

Joel Rains (@RainsJ7) was also stoked for the returning of Alex Gordon: “First off, could you imagine a Royals team without Alex Gordon? No. He isn't only a fan favorite, but he's the longest tenured Royal and one of the hardest workers on the team. The clubhouse is a key part of the Royals chemistry, which is vital to their success, and Gordon is a great guy to have in your clubhouse. Gordon brings the attitude and work ethic that young guys (Bubba, Mondesi, Zimmer, Etc) would develop  as they grow. Not only does KC have one of the best, if not the best LF in the game, but it also sets a path of where GMDM wants to go in the future.”

Finally, Ben Gartland (BenG_Sports) threw out, “He's gonna get his number retired. And I've never seen that happen as a fan. It feels amazing to actually keep a free agent.”

 

For the Royals, their window for success is now. With only two bats from the World Series lineup missing, the offense shouldn't regress any, if at all. All they need now is a solid starting pitcher, and they could very likely be competing for another pennant in October.

 

 

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Author: Sarah Davis

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