Just a day after declining his $12.5 million player option for the 2016 season, outfielder Alex Gordon has been extended the qualifying offer of one-year, $15.8 million by the Kansas City Royals, according to Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star.
The 31-year-old is expected to reject the offer and test free agency. Gordon will be looking for a deal of more than three years if he does not accept the offer from the Royals.
Because the Royals made a qualifying offer, Gordon's free agency comes with a compensation draft pick, but that will not sway any team from trying to pick up the elite defender, who also has pop in his bat.
If Gordon does not decide to return, the Royals believe they have a good chance to fill his role without much of a setback.
"Our farm system is very, very strong," Hall of Famer George Brett, now a special assistant in the front office, said on Wednesday. "Who knows? If Gordon decides to leave or Rios is no longer on the team, we've got a couple of guys in Triple-A that hit over .300 with 20-something home runs and 100-something RBI. OK, so maybe we give these guys a shot. They're built for the long haul."
Gordon, the second pick in the 2005 MLB Draft by the Royals, has been in Kansas City for his entire nine-year career. It would be weird to see the outfielder in a different uniform come 2016, but after three straight All-Star appearances, Gordon has built up a good enough resume for himself to ensure a nice amount of money if he become hits the market.
From 2013-2015, Gordon has played in 416 games and has taken 1,765 plate appearances. The veteran has hit .267/.348/.428 with 52 home runs and 203 RBI over the three-year span.
Over 16 games this postseason, Gordon collected two home runs and 16 RBI with a .241 batting average. While the bat was fairly decent, he was best known for determination and defense.
The Royals made a few other moves on Thursday, exercising the $10 million club option to reliever Wade Davis and exercising the $6.5 million club option to shortstop Alcides Escobar, per McCullough. Both options are for 2016, which means both players will become free agents next season.
Davis was outstanding in 2015 with a 0.94 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over 67.1 innings pitched. He turned himself into a dominant closer after Greg Holland went down with an elbow injury. His ability to step into that closer role shows just how versatile the 30-year-old will continue to be in the Royals bullpen.
Escobar played148 games in the 2015 regular season with a .257 batting average, but excelled in the postseason with a good contact bat, outstanding speed and exceptional defense.
Kansas City declined the club option of $3 million to Jonny Gomes, an outfielder, for the 2016 season, as McCullough also reported. He hit .167 in 34 plate appearances with the Royals after coming over from the Atlanta Braves. On Friday, he will be an official free agent.