Legends On Deck

Why The Kansas City Royals Must Sign Alex Gordon

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Things have gone back-and-forth in the negotiations between the Kansas City Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon recently.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported last week that, after not reaching a deal, the Royals had “no chance” of signing Gordon. However, Gordon recently disputed that claim, saying there is “no truth” to it.

“The Royals are still in the mix,” he said, via Mike Patterson of the Omaha World-Herald. “I know what’s going on behind the scenes, and I’m dealing with it the best I can.”

On the field, however, things are not so confusing for Gordon. He is widely considered one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, ranks in the top 10 in FanGraphs’ wins above replacement since 2011 and has been with the Royals since his MLB debut.

Ultimately, he just epitomizes what Kansas City is all about.

“He’s kind of the heart and soul of the Royals organization and what they try to accomplish,” Jeff Montgomery of Fox Sports said on MLB Network earlier this week. “He’s the perfect fit for the Royals.”

The Royals made Gordon the first overall pick of the 2006 MLB Draft and, once he made the transition from third base to left field, he has been fantastic.

He is a consistent doubles hitter who gets on base and drives in runs. He doesn’t hit for a ton of power—he has averaged 18 homers the past five seasons—but he makes up for it by working counts and hitting the ball to all fields.

He has been an integral part of the strong core of Royals players that have guided them to two consecutive World Series, including a championship last season.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Alex Gordon and what he has done here,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore told Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. “He has been a terrific player. He’s played on a championship team. We all appreciate the history of Alex Gordon in Kansas City.”

Winning a championship is simply something that the other outfield options on the free agent markets haven’t done. Not Yoenis Cespedes. Not Justin Upton.

Those two might be better—at least flashier—than Gordon, but they don’t fit Kansas City like Gordon does. It’s hard to imagine Alex Gordon in a different uniform, and it’s hard to imagine a Royals team without Gordon patrolling the outfield and hitting in the middle of the order.

The Royals need an outfielder, and there is no better option for them than Gordon.

Original article posted on HC3 Cold Hard Sports.

Heath Clary

Heath is currently a finance student at Texas A&M University. The Astros are his favorite team, but he is an all-around baseball fanatic who continually marvels at the game's best players. He has written for Bleacher Report and VAVEL USA in his career, and also maintains a sports blog, HC3 Cold Hard Sports.