After he turned down his player option for 2016 yesterday, outfielder Alex Gordon will be given a qualifying offer by the Kansas City Royals, the team announced today:
(Cont.) The #Royals also announce that they will make a qualifying offer to OF Alex Gordon, who declined his player option yesterday.— Royals (@Royals) November 5, 2015
Gordon was an All-Star for the third straight season in 2015, hitting .271/.377/.432 with 13 home runs in 104 games, missing most of July and August with a strained groin. He followed up by hitting .241/.349/.426 with a pair of home runs in the postseason, helping the Royals win their first World Series since 1985.
A four-time Gold Glove winner, Gordon has accumulated 27.1 WAR over the last five seasons according to Baseball-Reference, making $41.15 million in that stretch.
If exercised, Gordon's player option for 2016 would have paid him $14 million, the same salary he made in 2015, though a player of his caliber will fetch more on the free agent market, as the qualifying offer guarantees him $15.8 million next season should he become the first player in history to accept one, which is unlikely.
As both a fan favorite and a key part of the lineup, it is likely the Royals push to bring Gordon back to Kansas City, though several other teams will be in the market for his services. One team to keep an eye on in the market for Gordon is the Cubs, who have money to spend and primarily played Chris Coghlan and rookie Kyle Schwarber in left field in 2015, both of whom are sub-optimal for the position.