Kansas City Royals: Sad and Costly Decline of Alex Gordon

Alex Gordon - Kansas City Royals (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Alex Gordon - Kansas City Royals (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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After the Kansas CIty Royals went to the World Series in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015, Alex Gordon became a free agent. After several weeks of exploring the market, the star left fielder re-signed with the Royals for four years and $72 million. There is even a fifth year, club option for an additional $19 million if Gordon aged gracefully and maintain a  certain level of play from 2019.

Unfortunately for everyone, he hasn’t.

When the Royals inked Gordon to that deal before the 2016 season, the euphoria from the World Championship had not worn off. The Royals still had their core of talented players signed for two more years, and retaining Gordon seemed like an important task.

While players like Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Salvador Perez seemed to be the laid back, vocal leaders on the field, Gordon led by example, as he always has. He is quiet and works hard to keep in shape, setting a good example for his teammates.

Gordon was a veteran but he wasn’t old when he signed the contract. He was just turning 32, and despite some injuries over the seasons, he did keep his body in top condition. A four-year deal did not seem like a stretch, even if the $72 million did seem to be a slight overpay.

Royals fans love Gordon and bringing him back into the fold seemed like a good idea at the time. Reality has proven to be different. Who knew his skill set would decline so rapidly?