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Royals sign Alex Gordon to four-year, $37.5 million deal

Mar 30, 2012, 6:55 PM EST

Alex Gordon AP

Update: The Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton reports the first four seasons are worth $37.5 million: $6 million in 2012, $9 million in 2013, $10 million in 2014 and $12.5 million in 2015. The Royals are paying more than they likely needed to for the next two years (Gordon was already signed for $4.775 million for 2012), but they’ll make it back in his free agent seasons if Gordon remains one of the game’s top 20 or 30 outfielders.

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2011 was very much a make-or-break year for Alex Gordon in Kansas City. It’s safe to say he made it.

The Royals on Friday announced the signing of their former first-round pick to a four-year deal with a player option for 2016.

After struggling to establish himself for four years with the Royals, Gordon busted through to hit .303/.376/.502 with 23 homers, 87 RBI and 17 steals last season. The converted third baseman also won a Gold Glove for his play in left field (though that should have gone to Brett Gardner) and finished seventh among AL position players in WAR (the Baseball-Reference version).

No word yet on the terms of the deal, though $30 million-$32 million for the first four years seems like a reasonable guess. Gordon avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, signing a one-year, $4.775 million deal, but this pact replaces that one. He would have been eligible for free agency for the first time after the 2013 season.

  1. Lukehart80 - Mar 30, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    I guess we’ll know soon enough, but I’d be surprised if the first four years were for only $30.

  2. js20011041 - Mar 30, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    I think I would have waited to lock him up. I’d want to see more than one good year fueled by a .390 BABIP before handing him big money. Hopefully, for both of them, he lives up to the contract, but I would say the odds are against it.

    • sasquash20 - Mar 30, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      The reason you don’t wait is because if he has a similar season or better season then last year it will cost you a lot more to sign him. By signing him now you avoid having to dramatically over pay in the future. He is also playing very well this spring. Smart move by the Royals. It also shows the younger Royals that the front office will reward you if you produce.

      • js20011041 - Mar 30, 2012 at 9:11 PM

        There’s also the very distinct possibility that he doesn’t live up to the contract. In my mind, I think you only risk money on a relative unknown if you can get him for the right price. After reviewing his 2011, it actually wasn’t as fluky as I had thought, but I still don’t think he is worth risking the kind of money they are spending on him. This isn’t a case of giving Evan Longoria an extremely team friendly contract with team options on the back end. Even if Gordon continues to produce at his 2011 level, I’m not sure he’s worth that much more on the open market than what the royals are paying him. He’s a corner outfielder with a sub .900 OPS. If he had stayed at 3rd and provided above average defense, you can probably make an argument. But I’d much rather take than money and work on locking up Hosmer or spend it on pitching.

      • sasquash20 - Mar 30, 2012 at 11:37 PM

        Hosmer isn’t going anywhere any time soon. I do agree when that day comes if he keeps getting better his pay day will come, but you don’t have to rush that deal yet.

        Gordon might not be worth big money, but he will get it if he continues playing at an all star level. Jason Werth, Jayson Bay, Carlos Beltran (first deal with Mets) all got paid way more then what Gordon just signed. It took Gordon a little while to be the player he was last year, but I think he will continue to produce. Some times the light just goes on with certain players. I’m not a Royals fan but I do like the make up this team seems to be putting together.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      Dude, they bought out arbitration. There is no risk, only upside.

      • thetruth113 - Mar 31, 2012 at 3:16 AM

        2 years arbitration, 2 years free agency. His average is going to regress but I’d think the market for a 20/20 guy batting .280 with superior defense at corner OF is something like 10-12 million a year

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