Royals Re-Sign Alex Gordon

The Royals will be bringing back Alex Gordon for a four year, 72 million deal according to MLB.com.  The official announcement is expected later today.

From MLBTR.com

Dating back to 2011, when the former top prospect finally emerged as a major league force, Gordon has been a consistently productive presence in the Kansas City lineup. He owns a composite .281/.359/.450 slash over that span, with about twenty long balls per year. Though he’s probably not a double-digit stolen base threat any longer, but has generally received well-above-average ratings on the basepaths.

That makes for a solid-enough package in its own right, but it’s Gordon’s defense that has made him into a legitimate superstar. Both UZR and DRS rate him as an elite gloveman, with above-average performance in terms of arm, range, and mistake-free handling of chances.

Gordon’s excellent reputation in terms of makeup and work ethic also add to his value as he nears his mid-thirties. He did take a step back last year on the bases and in the field, though it’s certainly possible that the groin injury is largely to blame. While it’s probably not prudent to expect that he’ll continue to perform at up to a six-win clip, Gordon seems a good bet to continue to provide well-above-average production over the duration of his new contract.

Gordon’s deal now becomes the largest ever handed out by the Royals, topping the 55m made to Mike Sweeney and Gil Meche.

32 thoughts on “Royals Re-Sign Alex Gordon

  1. Interesting on multiple counts.

    1. Royals putting a crowbar in wallet;
    2. Getting him for just 4 years, not 5-6 as he reportedly wanted;
    3. Getting him at relatively cheap rate.

    OK, Cespedes and a few other FA dominoes should start falling now.

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  2. He gave them a bit of a discount. I figured he could get 5/100 if he was patient.

    Not that he’ll have trouble paying the bills.

    One more fit for the Astros signs elsewhere.

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  3. Scouts, I may be just nitpicking here, but can you please put a friggin’ hyphen in re-sign? If for no other reason than to differentiate it from “resign”, as in give up or relinquish.

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  4. Well, there’s the cachet of having a franchise record contract.

    And then there is the realization you beat out Whozit and What’shisname.
    You must realize What’shisname was once an All Star, I’m sure based on his 9 hits and 2 1/2 BB per nine. Musta had a great first half. Whozit, on the other hand, was a good player and should be better remembered. I apologize the Mr. Sweeney for the joke.

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  5. This seems like a very reasonable deal for his age 32-36 seasons. His defensive value is probably a bit over rated based on one crazy good year and that’ll likely fade given his age….but he’s still a plus LFer that should keep putting up something in the neighborhood of 120wRC+.

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        • It is relatively short, he’s “only” 35 when it ends, he’s an athletic player that provides value in all phases of the game (those types of players usually age better), and he was actually a FA when he was signed….they didn’t extend him 2 years ago as if he was still in his prime….AND they got him for relatively cheap with deferred money.

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    • Age 32-35 seasons. And while I didn’t realize how old he was, this still seems like a steal. The break-even point for the Royals is if Gordon averages about 2 WAR/year. Even with age-related decline, he should easily hit that.

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      • Yeah, my bad.

        There is apparently also a non-trivial amount of deferred money in the deal, which makes it look even better for KC.

        I’ve seen considerable opinion that hitters are now undervalued in baseball, but I think the truth is that the public (including sabermetrically inclined communities) is behind baseball in understanding the relative value of pitching, hitting, and defense and in understanding the risk associated with age.

        The public still acts like Upton, Gordon, Cespedes, and Davis should be paid for seasons in their 30s as if they’ll keep producing at their highest levels….when the fact is that all of those guys have probably already peaked, and teams are getting more and more leery of having multiple years of effectively dead money for guys that are negative defenders that decline to be averagish hitters….at that point, those guys are costing $20M to be about replacement level….and that is a real risk with all of these guys as early as the 2nd or 3rd year of any deal.

        The Gordon deal reflects the fact that he’ll likely decline. In addition to being relatively short, he should out produce the deal the first 2 years…giving them a good chance at getting more value than they are paying for….when usually guys about match the value the first few years and then the team is screwed when they tank or injuries become a problem.

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      • What I haven’t seen yet, though, is evidence that the teams get the relative values, Paper. That’s why I guessed 5/100 for Gordon. It’s an overpay. But a lot of deals this winter have the appearance of being overpays to older players.

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      • Stex, people rarely go back and evaluate how deals turned out. Very few position players who signed deals over $100M have provided the value of the contract over its term. The guesses on $/WAR value are very coarse as that real value is team and position specific…teams are really paying for marginal wins (how much of an upgrade is that player projected to be over whatever else the team would be playing), not raw wins. That is implicit when people talk about “fit” but is otherwise ignored is the rough guesses. Plus, how much a team can afford to pay for a win varies with team and year.

        Teams just use far more and different information when making decisions that the public use to evaluate those decisions.

        What is clear this year, is that teams really value pitchers that can provide innings. Every team could use an average starter that gives you 180+ innings….because most teams are going to need 7-10 starters to make it through the year and to give them the roughly 1000 innings you need from your rotation. In contrast, relatively few teams NEED another corner OFer (or other specific position) to get through the year, which makes the demand for position players lower than pitchers.

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  6. Remember the pity you felt for Royals fans when the team had to cough up $55 million so mutt like Gil Meche would deign to come be their mandatory All Star Game representative?

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