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The Royals, Alex Gordon and the dilemma of the franchise player

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Dayton Moore and the Kansas City Royals front office have built a World Series championship team. Now they have to figure out how to maintain it. One of the key decisions this winter: do you sign Alex Gordon?

As a Twins fan, this reminds me of the decisions made in the past regarding contract extensions for fan favorite franchise faces like Kirby Puckett and Joe Mauer. The Puckett contract worked out until glaucoma struck; the Mauer contract not so much, although given the circumstances as a hometown hero on what appeared to be a Hall of Fame career track, I don't think it is fair to criticize the decision overmuch.

Alex Gordon is not on a Hall of Fame career track. He's a damn fine player however, and his World Series heroics have cemented his place in Royals history. What should the Royals do with him?


A) He's still really good; a healthy Gordon is an above-average hitter with exceptional defense. Projections show a healthy Gordon to be in the 4.0 fWAR territory for 2016.

B) Public relations. He grew up a Royals fan and is the face of the franchise at present. Keeping Alex Gordon would be cool.


A) He's going to be 32 next year, and while his skills showed no real slippage this year when he was healthy, you are still buying into the downphase of his career. Even if his skills remain intact for several seasons, injuries may strike more frequently as he ages.

B) A heavy Gordon contract would reduce payroll flexibility in the coming seasons, making it more difficult to hold onto younger cornerstones like Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, or Mike Moustakas. World Series or no, the Royals are not the Yankees and can't afford albatross contracts as easily as some teams.


So, what should the Royals do? I suppose it depends on how much money and contract length Gordon wants, but how much would be too much and how long is too long? Gordon himself is making all the right noises about wanting to stay in Kansas City. Would he take a "hometown" discount?

Share your thoughts.