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Andrew McCutchen Extension With Pirates Gives Clarity To Alex Gordon Contract Situation

Another day, another young outfielder extended. First it was the San Diego Padres locking up Cameron Maybin over the weekend with a five-year extension. Then came the news this morning that Andrew McCutchen had inked a six-year deal to stay with the Pittsburgh Pirates long-term. Through it all, Alex Gordon remains with the Royals for one more year and fans can only hope they ink the same sort of extension with their left fielder.

McCutchen’s deal gives clarity to what the Royals can expect to have to pay for Gordon, even though the circumstances are different.Steve Adams of MLBTR writes, “McCutchen’s contract buys out his final pre-arbitration year, all three arbitration years, and a pair of free agent seasons with a club option for another. All told, the Buccos now control their young superstar through the 2018 season.”

That’s different than Gordon’s predicament since he is further along in Major League service time than McCutchen. Gordon, in other words, is bound to make more money given his veteran status.

David Lesky of Pine Tar Press notes via Twitter, “McCutchen’s deal does help out the Gordon numbers a bit, but Pitt buys out 4 years of team control rather than the 2 the #Royals will be.” He goes on to say, “That said, I’ll stick by my prediction of 5 years, $60 million for Gordon with a sixth year option for $15 million”.

McCutchen is likely to end up the better player, but KC could have offered a more favorable extension to the team back when Gordon was younger. Then again, they had no reason to since Gordon had yet to showcase why he was considered a top prospect in the first place until his breakout season in 2011.

Maybe that’s why the Royals are dragging their feet on this to make sure Gordon is still swinging sweetly in 2012, but if he walks, it will reflect poorly on a team that should be locking up its assets for long-term competition.