Free agent outfielder Alex Gordon won't be leaving Kansas City after all, as he and the Royals have reunited on a four-year contract with a mutual option for 2020. Royals Review has learned that the deal is for four years and roughly $70 million.
Gordon would have been the third high-profile free agent to leave the World Series champion Royals this offseason, with infielder Ben Zobrist signing a four-year, $56 million deal with the Chicago Cubs and Johnny Cueto agreeing with the Giants for $120 million. Instead, he returns to their outfield at a price that is reasonable to Kansas City and surely has some hometown discount built in for Gordon.
Gordon, who turns 32 in February, hit .271/.377/.432 with 13 home runs and 18 doubles in 104 games for the Royals in 2015. He missed eight weeks in July and August with a strained left groin, his only disabled list stint in the last five years.
Drafted as a third baseman by the Royals with the second overall pick of the 2005 draft, Gordon eventually converted to left field in 2010. From 2011-2015 he averaged 146 games, 35 doubles, 18 home runs, 10 steals and 61 walks per season, while hitting .281/.359/.450 during that span. He also made three All-Star Games and won four Gold Glove Awards.
Defense is Gordon's strong suit, where, during the last five seasons he has averaged 19 Defensive Runs Saved above average, 11 runs above average in Total Zone Rating and 13 runs above average in Ultimate Zone Rating, the latter more than twice as many runs saved as any other left fielder during that time frame.
Gordon played his first nine major league seasons in Kansas City, hitting .269/.348/.435 with 262 doubles and 134 home runs in 1,136 games. Gordon declined a qualifying offer from Kansas City in November, turning down a one-year, $15.8 million contract to pursue free agency.
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