The Cubs were connected to Alex Gordon before the World Series ended and pretty regularly since. When Theo Epstein said in his end of season press conference that the front office would like to improve the team’s outfield defense and for the offense to make more contact, it fueled the Alex Gordon rumors.
Peter Gammons has been consistent in his reporting of the Cubs’ interest in Gordon. Gammons has obvious connections to the front office and reported 11 days ago, “After sifting through five days of calls and there is a lot of John Lackey and Alex Gordon to the Cubs speculation.”
Gammons was on Inside the Clubhouse (670 The Score) on Saturday morning and brought up the Cubs as a strong possibility for Alex Gordon. And one of the best left fielders in the game would play right field for the Cubs.
“And I do think if they got [Alex] Gordon, I had always understood that Gordon and [John] Lackey were their primary goals,” Gammons said. “Gordon would play right field and [Kyle] Schwarber would stay in left field, which makes sense.”
Gordon has started three games in right field, back in 2010, in the majors.
The Cubs are expected to find a short-term solution in center field. Denard Span is viable option. Gammons explained the Cubs inquired about Jackie Bradley Jr., but the Red Sox are not moving him. Gammons does not think the Cubs will have a problem acquiring a centerfielder to replace Dexter Fowler.
Jason Heyward is reportedly an option the Cubs are looking into, but as a right fielder in the event Jorge Soler is moved in a deal to acquire a young, controllable starting pitcher. Heyward is expected to sign a mammoth contract that could surpass $200 million over the course of 10 years.
Alex Gordon is going to be expensive and he is tied to draft pick compensation, the same as Jason Heyward. Gordon turns 32 in February and will likely sign a five-year contract that will take him through his age-36 season. The latest prediction on a contract for Gordon has him inking a deal for five years and $90 million, $18 million AAV.
Gordon missed time (July 9-Sept 1) during the regular season with a strained left groin muscle, which is a red flag especially on a five-year contract.
For the first time since 2010, Gordon played less than 150 games during the regular season. Gordon hit .271/.377/.432 in 104 games with 18 doubles and 13 home runs for a .809 OPS. Gordon walked 49 times in 422 plate appearances with 92 strikeouts.
Outside of Kauffman Stadium, Gordon batted .258/.371/.452 with nine doubles and nine home runs for a .823 OPS. Against southpaws last season, Gordon hit .280/.377/.440 with a .817 OPS.
When looking at Gordon’s splits, his career numbers are not the best indication of how well he has performed. Gordon struggled early in his career before shifting to the outfield and putting it together in 2011.
From 2011-14, Gordon hit .283/.360/.472 with a .832 OPS against left-handed pitchers and batted .259/.342/.406 versus right handers. Gordon actually hit better on the road than at home in three seasons leading up to 2015. Gordon had a .277/.363/.442 line with 45 doubles, four triples and 27 home runs for a .805 OPS in 812 road games. At home, Gordon hit .256/.331/.412with 34 doubles, three triples and 25 home runs for a .743 OPS in 738 games.
As is the case with Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward, the Cubs do not seem to be a fit with Alex Gordon unless the front office trades a position player, or two, to acquire pitching.