You don’t need me to tell you that Alex Gordon hasn’t been very good since signing his 4-year mega-deal with the Kansas City Royals after the 2015 World Series. I’m not going to get into the specifics of Alex Gordon’s struggles at the plate. Here’s his FanGraphs page.
Given Alex Gordon’s age (he’ll be 35 next season), the fact that he made enough money over the last three years for his great grand kids to be set for life, a bit of an injury history, and Gordon’s declining performance at the plate, I have often wondered if this won’t be Alex Gordon’s last year playing baseball. If that should be the case, I truly think that it makes a lot of sense to trade Alex Gordon to a playoff contender to play out his last season.
“Why would anyone trade for Alex Gordon?”
Great question. Here’s why.
Alex Gordon is exactly the type of PERSON that you would want around a talented, young, playoff contending team. His glove in left field speaks for itself, and he was still an above average hitter against RHP in 2018 (barely). His contract sucks, but he’s only got one year left and a young team looking to get rid of a bad, lengthier contract may be willing to eat Gordon’s one bad year to get rid of multiple bad years.
Enter the Philadelphia Phillies.
The guys on MLB Network Radio were talking this morning about a potential swap between the Royals and Phillies involving Alex Gordon and 1B Carlos Santana. Carlos Santana still has two years left on his deal worth $34.5M. The Phillies have been rumored to be interested in a high profile free agent, be it Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, and would probably be thrilled to get rid of the second year of Santana’s deal so that they can pay someone else this off-season.
Here are some details of what a potential trade with Philly could look like:
- Alex Gordon
- $8-10M from KC (Gordon has a $4M buyout after the 2019 season, plus a $20M contract in 2019)
- Saves roughly $20M in payroll
- Carlos Santana (owed $34.5M over the next two seasons)
- $14-16M in additional payroll over a two year span ($7-8M/year)
- RHP Adonis Medina (Phillies #3 prospect, #64 overall)
- OF Mickey Moniak (former #1 overall pick)
- The potential for even more prospects if you flip Santana at any point in the next two years
This idea had honestly never crossed my mind until Drew told me about that they were talking about it on the radio this morning. I love the idea. Love love love it. The problem is, I don’t know how willing the Royals are to take on $14-16M in additional payroll. They absolutely should be if it means adding guys like Medina (who immediately becomes your top prospect) and Moniak, who is a ++ athlete and could use a change of scenery (think Bubba Starling but younger and healthier).
I seriously doubt the Royals feel like they are in a position to take on salary at the moment, which is a shame. I would love to see Alex Gordon get a shot at a playoff run if this is indeed his last season, and the Royals have a glut in the outfield as it is. Jorge Bonifacio, Jorge Soler, Brett Phillips, Brian Goodwin, Donnie Dewees Jr., Elier Hernandez, Bubba Starling (yes, seriously), Rosell Herrera, and Whit Merrifield are all candidates for outfield playing time at some point during the 2019 season, and Alex Gordon will certainly just infringe on their chances for development.
Both teams have different reasons for considering a trade like this. The Phillies want to get Rhys Hoskins on the infield and Carlos Santana is in the way of that. The Phillies may also want to sign Bryce Harper, in which case they could use the extra $20M in payroll (which is probably a secondary thing here). The Royals need to get their young guys playing time and Gordon is currently in the way of that. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like this idea.
Photo Credits: The Kansas City Star