The Kansas City Royals took another huge step towards future contention by signing left fielder Alex Gordon to a four year deal worth $37.5 million. The signing runs from 2012 to 2015, and buys out Gordon’s first two years of free agency. The deal also contains a player option for 2016 worth $12.5 million, making the total max value of the deal $50 million over five years.
This is obviously a huge deal for Kansas City. Earlier this month, they locked up catcher Sal Perez, and DH Billy Butler was inked last year. These three can create a great core for the Royals in years to come, and if Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer continue to develop, they could be extended too, which could give the Royals an absolutely behemoth young core of hitters.
The deal will cover Gordon’s prime years, going from his age 28 season this year to his age 31 season in 2015, with the possibility of the option covering his 2016. Gordon’s first two career seasons were good, but didn’t live up to the hype he had generated as the second overall pick in the 2005 draft. Gordon had amassed 4.6 fWAR over those first two years, homering 31 times with an OPS south of .800. His next two seasons were a struggle, as he missed a ton of games in 2009, and spent half of 2010 in the majors.
But in 2011, in his new position of left field, Gordon fluorished. He hit 23 homers and stole 17 bases with an .878 OPS. Fantastic defense in the outfield (a remarkable +20 according to DRS) led to his first career Gold Glove, and all of that combined to give him a grand total of 6.9 fWAR accrued, seventh in the American League.