As expected, outfielder Alex Gordon turned down his player option for the 2016 season. The Royals made the announcement Wednesday night that he is now a free agent.
Alex Gordon had a player option worth $12.5 million on the final year of the four-year, $37.5 million extension he signed in March 2012. The option increased to $14 million when he was named to the American League All-Star team.
The Royals would like to re-sign Gordon and are hoping he will take a hometown discount to return to the only organization he’s known.
Teams are expected to lineup to sign Gordon, who could ink a new deal for either four or five years with an AAV of around $15 million. Reports have indicated the Royals, Cubs, Astros, White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles would be in the mix for Gordon once he became a free agent.
Gordon turns 32 in February. The lefty hitting outfielder batted .271/.377/.432 in 104 games during the regular season with 18 doubles and 13 home runs for a .809 OPS. Gordon played in at least 150 games between 2011-14 and spent time (July 9-Sept. 1) on the DL with a strained left groin muscle.
Alex Gordon slugged slightly better on the road (.452) than at Kauffman Stadium (.411) this season. And he hit .280/.377/.440 with a .817 OPS against left-handed pitchers and .266/.377/.428 versus right-handed pitchers with a .805 OPS.
Defensively, Gordon is considered the best all-around left fielder in the game.