Children By The Millions Love Alex Gordon
Apologies to Scott Lindholm for stealing his bit.
I suppose this is going to keep happening in the next few weeks, especially as most of greater Cubdom can’t wait to see what the Cubs are going to do this offseason. Certainly, they’re going to be one of the most watched teams in the offseason if not the most watched.
It started yesterday with various outlets speculating that the Cubs will be major pursuers of Alex Gordon, should he turn down his $12.5 million option with the Royals after the season. Which you’d have to believe he will, because he can get a four or five-year deal from someone for $60 million total or more, even if it’s from the Royals.
On one level, you can understand why any team would want Gordon. He’s the game’s best defensive left fielder, who’s a pretty good hitter with a little pop, pop that would probably play a little better out of Kaufmann Stadium where one needs Smash TV weaponry to get the ball out of. He’s also disciplined, takes his walks, and the Cubs need someone who can do that from the left side where currently it’s Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber.
But on a couple other levels, it doesn’t make any sense at all. One, Gordon is already 32. Whatever prime he has, at best he’s at the tail end of. You’d be paying for essentially one more year, maybe two at most, of his prime?
Secondly, Gordon has never played right field. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t. He’s certainly athletic enough to make a decent fist of it if not better. But as he ages into his mid 30s is that really going to go smoothly? Ok, Wrigley’s right field, even with the struggles the sun and wind provides, isn’t where the antelope roam exactly. But still, how much longer is Gordon athletic enough to be a plus in a new position? Gordon also has never played center, and his advancing years would be an even bigger problem there.
Thirdly, if he’s manning left field, then the safe haven to keep Schwarber away from behind home plate is now gone. They’re certainly not going to toss Schwarber into right field regularly when he’s not catching, if he’s catching at all, and we’re all quite aware how much they want his bat in the lineup as much as they can get it.
More, Gordon isn’t a contact machine that he might have a rep for. His contract rate is league average exactly, which to be fair is better than most of the Cubs lineup currently but he’s not Marco Scutaro or anything. He strikes out over 20% of the time as well, which is again less than a good deal of the Cubs lineup now (but maybe not in the future with growth?) but isn’t a radical improvement.
Or maybe I’m just lashing out because all of this points to a more likely Jorge Soler trade which would make be grumble through most of the winter, even if it was for Muhammed I’m Hard Bruce Lee.
Considering age, production, cost, and positioning, I can’t say that I see it.