SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Alex Gordon has won a World Series, made All-Star teams and won Gold Gloves — all with the Kansas City Royals. He just wants to keep the good feelings going as long as he can.
“I feel 36, take that for what it is,” the veteran left fielder said Thursday. “I love this team, wanted to come back and fight with my guys, have another fun year and hopefully a more successful year.”
Gordon re-signed with the Royals on a $4 million, one-year contract after his $72 million, four-year deal expired following last season. Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Royals and has since become one of the most popular players in the franchise’s half-century existence.
His big contract, signed after Kansas City won the 2015 World Series, was a popular move at the time. But both Gordon and the Royals quickly declined. The club hasn’t been over .500 since and lost 103 games last season, and Gordon hit .237 with 52 homers and a .686 OPS during his four-year deal.
He bounced back last year with a .741 OPS and won his third straight Gold Glove. Just as importantly, he’s been a steady presence for a franchise trying to develop young players to backbone its set of contenders.
Gordon knows not many players are able to play their entire careers in one place — particularly a small-market franchise like the Royals. If he stays, he would join franchise greats George Brett and Frank White as career Kansas Citians.
“It’s a privilege to be with one organization the whole time,” he said.
The Royals are back where they were in Gordon’s early years — in rebuilding mode. They’ve lost more than 100 games in consecutive seasons, essentially starting over after the departure of stars like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain in recent years.
Gordon isn’t sure if he’ll see the rebuild all the way through, but he’s hoping the turnaround begins soon. He’s 5 for 16 this spring after going 1 for 3 Thursday against the Colorado Rockies.
“Year by year, see how I feel, see where my motivation is,” Gordon said. “I don’t really know how this year’s going to play out, but hopefully it’s good and we’ll readjust at the end of the year.”