Sunday evening on the Kansas City Star website, Bob Dutton posted a story that the Royals and Alex Gordon both would like to talk about a long-term contract.
Though Gordon never has and likely will never produce to the level of expectations placed upon him when Kansas City selected him second overall in 2005, Gordon has finally reach a level of production that has been fans smiling. Currently batting .301/.374./.484 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI, Gordon has found a home batting leadoff this season for the Royals.
Gordon, 27, is a native of the Kansas City footprint (Lincoln, Nebraska) and it would be beneficial for Kansas City to lock up Gordon into his early 30's given his marked improvement this season at the plate and also in the field (his 18 assists are already a club season record and it leads the league this season).
In hindsight it appears the Royals rushed bringing Gordon to the big leagues in 2007, as he went straight from AA to the majors. While producing okay power numbers in his first two seasons, Gordon's career took a detour with an injury in 2009 that slowed his progression. That progression is happening later than most had imagined, but his 2011 season has been worthy of taking a chance on this being the Alex Gordon wwe can come to expect from this point forward.
According to Fangraphs, Gordon has posted a 4.7 war through 115 games this year, which is equal to the career WAR he had posted in 408 major league games before this season. All of this while Gordon is making just $1.4 million.
In other news, Royals starter Bruce Chen has cleared waivers. This means Chen is now eligible to be traded in August, if the Royals so choose to do so. According to Buster Olney the Diamondbacks are one team who may be kicking the tires on Chen. Chen, 34, is with the team on a one-year contract, so it wouldn't hurt to see what options are out there as he likely will not be back with the team next year anyway.
The free-agent market for starting pitchers appears thin this upcoming off season, but with the Royals continued youth approach it seems they would like to get younger moving forward and can always take a flier on another similarly priced pitcher this winter to help fill our the roster of young players on the squad.