KC Royals: Potential Problems In The Outfield For 2016


The KC Royals currently pose one of the best records in baseball. With that said, not many people are thinking too much about what this team might look like a year from now. Changes come every year in Major League Baseball, and next year could potentially be a pretty rough one regarding the Royals’ outfield.

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For starters, left fielder Alex Gordon is unlikely to pick up his 2016 option, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (the part referencing Gordo is towards the bottom of the article). While Gordon has been in a bit of an offensive slump so far this season, he’s one of the best defensive players in the entire league.

Gordon’s resumé is pretty impressive, as he’s won four consecutive Gold Gloves, three Fielding Bible Awards, one Platinum Gold Glove, and one Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award. Not to mention he’s a two time All-Star (possibly en route to his third, according to the recent All-Star Game voting results and Austin Laymance of MLB.com).

He’s also been with this organization when they were a joke and always had a good attitude about it.

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Seeing Gordon get teary eyed when the Kansas City Royals swept their way to the World Series was an emotional moment for a lot of Royals fans because this guy has been the face of the organization, even through the bad times.

Let’s face it, most of his tenure with the Royals was considered “the bad times”.

Going back to the issue at hand though, the left-fielder has been with the KC Royals since being drafted second overall in the 2005 MLB Draft. It’d be weird imagining him in another team’s uniform, but there’s a chance that that he won’t sign the 2016 option, which is worth $13.25, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

If Gordon decides not to sign the option, he becomes a free agent, and at that point, who knows if the Kansas City Royals could afford to keep their long time fan favorite.

On the other side of the outfield, Alex Rios will also become a free agent. Rios inked a deal with Kansas City for one year and at the time it was evident it was one of those “Prove it” type deals for the former Texas Ranger who battled injuries last season.

If Rios plays well in 2015, he’ll get deals from a lot of teams more than likely, and the Royals wouldn’t be able to afford to keep him. If Rios doesn’t play well, the Royals wouldn’t want to re-sign him anyway.

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So with all of that said, the good news is that Lorenzo Cain will still be around (thank the Lord on that one), but if Alex Gordon and Alex Rios both depart in free agency, the Royals will have a lot of questions surrounding their once scary outfield.

At the end of the day though, the MLB is a business and Gordon might decide to cash in for a bigger check and leave his beloved boys in blue behind.

Right now, Jarrod Dyson is the only other outfielder who’s with the Royals, but the team also utilized Paulo Orlando during Rios’ stint on the disabled list.

If Gordon and Rios are both gone, do Dyson and Orlando get promoted to full time starters? Or does the team dip into the minor league pool and see what they’re capable of?

Brett Eibner could be a possibility. Eibner is hitting .277 in Omaha right now with eight home runs, and six doubles in 31 games.

Bubba Starling is also another name that’s out there. Starling has been a bit of a disappointment so far, but he’s still fairly young and needs time to develop before being brought to the big leagues.

Of course all of this is being said as a WORST CASE scenario. Obviously I don’t want Alex Gordon to leave. Not at all. He’s my favorite player for the Royals and I’d be devastated if he went to play for another team.

At the end of the day though, the MLB is a business and Gordon might decide to cash in for a bigger check and leave his beloved boys in blue behind.

If the KC Royals want to keep Alex Gordon in Kansas City, they need to sign him to a new deal within the next few months. Otherwise, it’ll be tough to retain him.

What do you think the Kansas City Royals should do regarding Alex Gordon?

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