So this was kind of a long thing coming. Well...not that long I guess. In August of 2014, Alex Gordon indicated he'd accept his 2016 player option. Then this past February Alex changed course a bit and said he may not in fact do that. Now tonight we learn he's gone full circle (not trying to paint him as a bad guy) and in fact declined his player option.
Alex Gordon turned down his option. He can become a free agent later this week.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) November 5, 2015
The option intended to pay Gordon $14,000,000. Instead he'll now hit the open market when they open a few days from now, looking to command a longer term deal.
While Gordon won't be necessarily walking away from much more money in 2016, he's not risking another injury. Gordon missed a chunk of mid-summer this year with a groin injury. That didn't likely cost him any money in the long run but it certainly got him thinking what could happen with a one-year deal, despite being a slam dunk to decline his option regardless.
Per FanGraphs crowdsourcing contract series, the crowd has projected Gordon to make somewhere in the ballpark of five years and $90,000,000.
This doesn't necessarily rule KC out of the running, but $18M would by far be the Royals biggest obligation in 2016 and onward. Even backloading the deal and cutting 2016 down to $14M (the player option) would be $5.5M more than the Royals next highest contract in Edinson Volquez.
If this truly is the end of Alex's tenure with KC then he'll go down as one of the best Royals to ever play for the team.
For his career Gordon has played in over 1100 games with a 113 wRC+ and amassed 29.7 fWAR. That 29.7 fWAR ranks 5th all-time in Royals batter history. Surely Gordon is a franchise hall of fame candidate.