Alex Gordon and the KC Royals have agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Gordon’s return makes the outfield situation pretty easy to figure out for the 2020 season.
One of the biggest questions needing to be answered this offseason for the Kansas City Royals was: Would Alex Gordon be wearing a Royals uniform come Opening Day or would he opt to retire?Well, the answer is in, and we’ll have one more year of Gordo in Royal blue! Yay!
Before we knew of Gordon’s future, there was speculation over what the outfield could look like in 2020. There wasn’t really a clear cut left fielder to fill Gordon’s shoes, but Brett Phillips or Bubba Starling probably would have had the best crack at it; That or Whit Merrifield might have been moved to left field instead and Phillips or Starling would have battled it out for the center field job instead.
Now that we know Gordon is returning, it’s pretty clear how the outfield will look come Opening Day. Gordon will most definitely be the starting left fielder with Merrifield in center field and Hunter Dozier in right field. Dozier’s move to right field is a result of the Royals signing Maikel Franco in the offseason to man third base.
With these three being the every day starters in the outfield, that leaves Brett Phillips and Bubba Starling on the outside looking in. The Royals don’t really need both of them, as they’re essentially the same player.
Both are great defensively, but aren’t great at the plate, at least not from what we’ve seen from them in the majors so far (albeit small sample size). They are both out of options, however, so it’ll be interesting to see which one sticks around or what the Royals decide to do there.
The Royals also have Ryan McBroom who could play right field on days when Dozier is the DH. McBroom will probably spend most of his time at first base though, where he’ll split time with Ryan O’Hearn.
When looking at the Royals’ likeliest outfield situation, that’s a pretty good trio right there. All did well with the bat last year (Gordon’s .266 batting average is the lowest amongst the three) and Gordon and Merrifield are both great defensively. Dozier is the weakest link defensively amongst the three, but he’s not a liability out there by any means.
Some Royals fans might not like the idea of Gordon coming back because it means less prospects are going to get their time to shine, but I’m fine with the move. Obviously, this means Dayton Moore and company didn’t think any of the outfield prospects were going to be ready any time soon, so rather than rush them into a big league outfield, he re-signed Gordon, giving those prospects more time to season in the minor leagues.
The most interesting part about Gordon’s return, however, is that he waived his 10-and-5 rights, meaning he can now be traded if the Royals want to deal him. It’d be weird seeing Gordon in a different uniform, but if the Royals can end up getting some prospects for him and he’s wanting to end his career with a different team, then so be it.
For now, however, Royals fans can look forward to knowing they their outfield set for the 2020 season.