All the talk in Royals Land these days is about Alex Gordon. Will he sign with the Royals? Can they afford it? Is giving a long-term contract to an aging player wise? Will it eat up the budget and diminish the chance to re-sign other core players in two years? What is the payroll projection for the next 8+ years? Is a TV contract renegotiation possible? and when? and will that give more money for FAs in 2018? So then we can defer money and blah blah blah blah.
Actually, all of these are important questions relevant to the 2016 Royals. And the 2017 and 2018 teams.
What I want to look at right now is what a deal for Alex Gordon would mean for The Royals. The franchise. And Kansas City.
Early in his career, Alex drew a lot of comparisons to George Brett. Perhaps the pressure was too much, or he just had a hard time adjusting to the major league level, but that comparison died away pretty quickly when he was sent back down to the minors. But it's time for that comparison to come back. Alex Gordon can be the next George Brett.
On the baseball field, he isn't quite going to live up to George's numbers, but in the lore and tradition of the Royals, he could be the face of the resurrection. You might argue he already is, but if he leaves in free agency, does that change? Alex was in KC through the dark ages, still worked tirelessly, gave his all to the game and to the team, and quietly carried this team back into relevancy and to a championship. Of course other players were important too--this is baseball. But Alex is the heart of this team. He has been for years.
Alex has a chance to not only have his number retired in the Royals Hall of Fame, he is the main candidate to have a bronze statue of him out front of Kauffman Stadium. That would be pretty special.
I want the Royals to remain competitive. Winning never seems to fully satisfy. We always want more, and many think the next two years hold the best chance for the Royals to do so again for some time. I believe re-signing Gordon would help with that, especially in the short term yet without being detrimental to the long term.
But there's also another dimension to this. I want the legacy of the 2015 team to have a face along with that flag. I want the guy that stays with the same team his whole career, has his number retired, takes a job with the team, and is forever immortalized in bronze. Then I can take a picture in front of it with my children and tell them about the days of the great Alex Gordon. That's how he truly becomes the next George Brett. He's done the championship part. Now all he needs to do is stay and complete the legacy.
It's rare in modern baseball/sports. Free agency and money from bigger markets always lures. So consider this Alex. If another team offers you a bit more in free agency, ask yourself, is it worth more than a statue?