The Kansas City Royals have agreed to re-sign Alex Gordon to a four-year, $72 million deal, according to MLB.com's Jeffery Flanagan and Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The team has since announced the deal.
All along, the Royals wanted to retain the heart and soul of their team in Gordon, but nobody thought it could actually be done. According to Heyman, Gordon wanted over $20 million per season, so it appears that he took a "discount" to stay in Kansas City at just $18 million per year.
The contract is the largest contract in Royals' franchise history, breaking the previous record of a $55 million total guarantee.
Gordon will make $12 million in 2016, $16 million in 2017, and $20 million in 2018 and 2019. He also has a $23 million mutual option for the 2020 season that comes with a $4 million buyout.
Other than the Royals, the Giants and White Sox were also connected to Gordon.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old Gordon was instrumental in the Royals' World Series win in 2015, hitting .271/.377/.432 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs in 422 plate appearances. Defense included, Gordon was worth 2.8 fWAR, as he was named to his third consecutive American League All-Star team.
Gordon's signing should pave the way for fellow outfield free agents, Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes, to sign soon. There had been a holdup in the market, with those three unable to find a contract by the end of 2015.
At an $18 million annual average value, Gordon finds himself among the higher-paid position player free agents this offseason, and rightly so. In fact, Gordon signed the second-largest position player free agent contract of the offseason, coming in far behind Jason Heyward's $184 million deal, but could end up in second or third depending on how well Upton and Cespedes do.
The contract, which does not include any opt-outs or no-trade protection, looks quite positive for the club. They are able to keep their star in the organization, which will not only be able to keep team performance up, but also drive revenue in other ways, such as jersey and t-shirt sales.
Gordon was selected in the 1st round of the 2005 MLB Draft and has spent his entire career with Kansas City. He owns a .269/.348/.435 slash line and has accumulated 29.7 fWAR in nine big league seasons.