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Who are the suitors for Alex Gordon?

Where will Glove Hat be playing in 2016?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With Ben Zobrist signing with the Cubs, many expect the outfield market to heat up with names like Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Yoenis Cespedes at the top tier of that market. Alex Gordon sits in the next tier, but he should be in high demand, particularly from teams that lose on the top tier of free agents. Alex Gordon is a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner with a demonstrated ability to get on base with good doubles power and a perennial threat to hit 15-20 home runs. In his last healthy season in 2014, Gordon was a 6.6 fWAR player, finishing 12th in MVP voting. While he will be 32 years old by Opening Day, and he is coming off a season in which he missed six weeks with a groin injury, teams will be banking on his tremendous conditioning to keep him productive over what should be a four- or five-year contract.

Gordon should expect a deal that pays him around $16-20 million per season, which could bring the total value up to or over $100 million. Any team that signs him will have to forfeit a draft pick (the Royals will receive a compensatory pick after the first round if he leaves). Who would be willing to shell out so much cash for a left-fielder with a career line of .269./348/.435? Let's look at some of the top suitors for Alex Gordon

Kansas City Royals

The Royals are the team that drafted Alex Gordon second overall in the 2005 draft and signed him a contract extension back in 2012. Alex is a Nebraska native who grew up a Royals fan, but ultimately it will take dollars to keep him in Kansas City. There have been reports the Royals are already priced out of the Gordon market. However they have reportedly "not given up" on signing Gordon, and appear to be patiently biding their time for the outfield market to develop. Any deal to re-sign Gordon would be the largest deal in franchise history, eclipsing the five-year, $55 million deals they signed to Mike Sweeney in 2002 and Gil Meche in December of 2006. Gordon may be willing to take a bit of a "hometown discount", but the Royals are going to have to put forth a very competitive offer. With the team wanting financial flexibility to sign their core group of players past 2017, they may not have the appetite for a five-year deal.

Chances of signing: Moderate

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have already swiped one member of the Royals 2015 championship-winning ballclub in Ben Zobrist, could a second be close behind? Peter Gammons reported that Gordon was one of the primary targets for the Cubs this off-season. The Cubs had Kyle Schwarber in left-field last year, but he was a defensive liability and could be moved back behind the plate or to right field. Gordon would seem to fit the team philosophy as a guy that can get on base, hit doubles and more home runs at Wrigley Field, and play great defense in front of the ivy. Playing in Chicago would allow Gordon to stay in the Midwest, near his home in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cubs have also been linked to outfielder Jason Heyward, a younger version of Alex Gordon, so Gordo could be "Plan B" should Heyward be out of their price range.

Chances of signing: High

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have been aggressive this winter, reportedly coming in second for the David Price sweepstakes. With money burning a hole in their pocket, they could pursue Alex Gordon to fill the hole left by departing free agent Jason Heyward. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the Cardinals will be the Royals' toughest competition for Alex Gordon. However the Cardinals already have Matt Holliday and his $17 million salary in left-field, meaning either he or Gordon would have to move to right field, which could be problematic. Gordon is a lifetime .352/.446/.606 hitter in 18 games at Busch Stadium. St. Louis would also allow Gordon to stay in the Midwest, although the thought of him playing across the state might make Royals fans sick to their stomach.

Chances of signing: Moderate

San Francisco Giants

Might Alex Gordon take his talents to the team he narrowly lost to in the World Series a season ago? The Giants are reportedly "hot" after Gordon, with the implication they are the ones driving the price out of Kansas City's range. Gordon would fit in perfectly in left-field at AT&T Park, and could handle the weird caroms of the ballpark well. He would give the Giants a pair of $90+ million corner outfielders along with Hunter Pence, and give them the top of the order-type doubles bat they need. San Francisco is a long way from Nebraska however, but a $100 million contract can make the West Coast seem much nicer.

Chances of signing: Moderate

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are said to be trying to clear room in their payroll to make way for a player like Gordon, ironically talking to the Royals about moving C.J. Wilson to save money. The Angels have typically made a big splash with a new General Manager, and Billy Eppler has yet to make his move this winter. The Angels have a gaping hole in left field next to All-World center fielder Mike Trout, and Gordon would be a great hitter at the top of the lineup for Trout to drive in. Again, a move to the West Coast may be a sticking point for Gordon, but Angels owners Arte Moreno has demonstrated he has deep pockets before.

Chances of signing: Low

Baltimore Orioles

Nearly all of the teams Alex Gordon defeated in the 2014 playoffs are interested in retaining his services. Whether or not the Orioles aggressively pursue Gordon depends on whether or not they can re-sign slugger Chris Davis, who reportedly has a $150 million offer on the table from them. Gordon has eight home runs in just 29 games in Camden Yards, including this mammoth shot memorialized on Eutaw Street, so the ballpark could be tailor-made for his bat. Gordon reportedly does not want to play on the East Coast, which makes a signing in Baltimore unlikely.

Chances of signing: Low