Sources: Gordon salary in 1st yr of four-yr, $72M deal is lower, giving #Royals chance to make other moves. Deal also includes deferrals.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 6, 2016
At the outset of free agency, it was thought Gordon could command a deal as large as $100 million. The Royals had been said to be "lowballing" Gordon with a four-year offer worth $12-13 million per year. Reports surfaced that the Royals had "no chance" to re-sign Gordon with what they were offering. Gordon refuted that report, saying he was still open to returning to Kansas City.
Alex Gordon will turn 32 by Opening Day and is coming off a season in which he missed two months with a groin injury. He hit .271/.377/.432 for the season with 13 HR 48 RBI in 104 games. He was originally the second overall pick by the Royals in the 2005 draft. He was in the big leagues by 2007, although he struggled initially. Gordon battled injuries and a demotion, but his career really took off in 2011 when he moved to left field. He hit a career-high 23 home runs that year with a line of .303/.376/.502, earning his first Gold Glove. Gordon would lead the league in doubles the next year with 51, tied for the second-highest total in franchise history after Hal McRae's 54 in 1977.
Gordon won four consecutive Gold Gloves from 2011-2014, and has been selected to three consecutive All-Star appearances from 2013-2015. In nine seasons with the Royals, he is a career .269/.348/.435 hitter with 134 home runs and 31.8 WAR. He is ninth in franchise history in games played, eighth in hits, and is the fifth-highest ranked position player in WAR.
UPDATE: Terms are now known. The deal is heavily backloaded.
Gordon deal is $12M, $16M, $20M, $20M with $23M mutual option and $4M buyout. #Royals— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) January 6, 2016