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Thursday, March 07, 2019

KC Royals OF Alex Gordon enters what might be last season | The Kansas City Star

They signed the wrong guy.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 09:00 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alex gordon, royals

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   1. eric Posted: March 07, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5820927)
Alex Gordon is 35? Man I just had the same "time is a-flyin'" feeling I had when I heard Luke Perry died, and was 52 (!!). Alex seemed to go from hot prospect (the next George Brett!), to disappointment, to reincarnated defensive god, to veteran presence, to possibly final season in the blink of an eye.
   2. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: March 07, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5820945)
By BBRef WAA and WAR, he's the second-best player to spend his entire career with the Royals. (No points for guessing #1.) Gordon needs to manage better than -0.4 WAR this year to stay ahead of Frank White. Though of course with so much of both of their values, especially White's, tied up in their defense, who the hell knows.

EDIT: All that keeps Mark Gubicza from being #2 is two starts of 4.2 total innings and 13 runs allowed for the 1997 Angels. I didn't remember that. Not a great addition to his legacy.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5821077)
But they got him at the right price!

If anybody's keeping score, this one goes into my WRONG column. He was older so it's less surprising but Gordon was the first coming of Jason Heyward -- the defense stayed good but the bat cratered immediately. I see he did fight his way back to above-average last year.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: March 07, 2019 at 04:09 PM (#5821081)
Fern,

He also has to not play anywhere else between now and career’s end, which is usually the trickier part.
   5. bbmck Posted: March 07, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5821100)
The Royals only pitching or position player WAR leader after each season not named George Brett:

1969-73: Dick Drago 2, 4.4, 8.6, 11.7, 13.6
1974-77: Steve Busby 10.4, 16.6, 16.1, 16.1
1978-79: Paul Splittorff 18, 18.8
1980-81: Dennis Leonard 20.6, 24
1982-90: Willie Wilson 26.6, 28.2, 32.5, 34.6, 36.5, 38.3, 38.6, 40.5, 42.4

1991: Bret Saberhagen 40.8
1992-94: Frank White 34.8
1995: Mark Gubicza 36.8
1996-98: Kevin Appier 40.2, 45.8, 45.6
1999-17: Frank White 34.8
2018: Alex Gordon 35.2
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2019 at 05:31 PM (#5821110)

EDIT: All that keeps Mark Gubicza from being #2 is two starts of 4.2 total innings and 13 runs allowed for the 1997 Angels. I didn't remember that. Not a great addition to his legacy.


In 1987 or so there were rumors all off-season the Royals would send Gubie to the Giants for Chili Davis. Eight years later, they finally made that trade - albeit to the Angels.
   7. Michael Paulionis Posted: March 07, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5821112)
This seems relevant: https://www.beckett.com/news/all-star-alex-gordon-remembers-his-rookie-card-craze/ Sold for $5,761 in 2006 (Edit: Looks like 5 sold for that total; still, that puts each copy @ $1,152). Today, someone has 5 very expensive piece(s) of cardboard.

No shade on Gordon or any prospectors though. I have plenty of cards of my own still (of course, none cost me $5,000 though).
   8. Zach Posted: March 07, 2019 at 08:17 PM (#5821145)
Such an odd career. Can't miss prospect becomes perennial disappointment becomes miracle turnaround becomes dark horse MVP candidate becomes declining veteran.

When you look at it, it doesn't seem so odd, but all of the transitions were overnight.

One of the projection systems had him ticketed for 500 HR going into 2007. He then hit .247/.314/.411 for an OPS+ of 90.

Going into 2011, the projection systems had him tied or a little behind Kila Kaaihue. He then hit 303/.376/.502, earned a Gold Glove, and got MVP votes (21st in the voting, but still).

Coming off of 2015, he was Mr. Royal, World Series Hero, the consensus best Royal since Brett. He signed a four year contract, and hit .220/.312/.380.

His peak coincides almost perfectly with the Royals' competitive window, and his abrupt decline probably closed that window (losing Ventura probably did more).
   9. akrasian Posted: March 07, 2019 at 08:27 PM (#5821149)
He also has to not play anywhere else between now and career’s end, which is usually the trickier part.

He's a 5 and 10 guy, getting $20 million this year and a $4 million option buyout for next season. I doubt there is a huge demand. I suppose he could continue his late career "renaissance" and after being bought out decide to take a small contract elsewhere, but I doubt he would be good enough to make another team. Aging infielders with OPS+s well under 100 are not in huge demand.
   10. Rally Posted: March 07, 2019 at 09:51 PM (#5821159)
Alex Gordon is 35? Man I just had the same "time is a-flyin'" feeling I had when I heard Luke Perry died, and was 52 (!!).


Well, Luke was closer to 30 than 20 when his character finally finished high school. What makes me feel old is seeing Torii Hunter back in camp with the Angels. Torii Hunter Jr., that is. I hear Vlad Guerrero's kid might be able to hit a little too.

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