Royals could deal Alex Gordon for starting pitching

In a post to his blog for ESPN, Buster Olney says the Royals could deal position players in order to acquire starting pitching this winter.

Olney says OF Alex Gordon could be among those the Royals make available.

In 161 games for Kansas City in 2012, Gordon hit .294 with a league-high 51 doubles, a .368 OBP, 14 home runs and 72 RBI although he struck out 140 times in 721 plate appearances.

Gordon is in the second year of a four-year, $37.5 million contract he signed before 2012 season. He earned $6 million in 2012, will earn $9 million in 2013, $10 million in 2014, and $12.5 million in 2015. He holds a $12.5 million player option for the 2016 season.

Michael Baron, Contributor

I’ve received several emails about the possibility of the Mets acquiring Gordon. He’s quietly good, thanks to playing in Kansas City. He had a similar, if not better season than that of Justin Upton. In fact, according to Fangraphs, Gordon posted a 5.9 WAR, compared to a 2.5 WAR from Upton. Gordon’s a few years older than Upton, but he has a very team-friendly contract which is similar to Upton’s deal with Arizona. Gordon is a better defensive player than Upton, and that’s important in the big ballparks in the National League East. He also has a great arm, which could go a long way towards limiting extra bases from the opposition.

The main issue I see with Gordon is that he’s left-handed and he strikes out a lot. Upton does as well, but he would provide better balance from the right side. But depending on how the market plays out this winter, I wonder if Gordon would be more obtainable than Upton. I’m sure demand will be high, but the Mets potentially¬† have starting pitching to trade, so a possible match might exist heading into the off-season.