Gordon cautiously optimistic
12/26/2012 6:35 AM
12/26/2012 6:36 AM
Two-year-old Max Gordon had finally been coaxed to sleep earlier this month and his daddy, Alex, was starting to drift off himself.
That’s when Jamie Gordon noticed her Twitter feed going berserk with news that the Royals had traded for Rays pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis. General manager Dayton Moore said the move was about winning more games in 2013.
It’s worth noting, though, that Alex Gordon didn’t doze off that night or any since with dreams of an impending playoff berth in 2013.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Gordon, the Royals’ third baseman, said in a phone interview. “Just because we made these trades doesn’t mean we’re going to be right there in the mix. We still have to catch the White Sox and the Tigers, who have been doing it for the last couple of years. We definitely have some work to do.
“But they’re doing their job, Dayton and all them, so as players we have to make sure we come to spring training ready to go.”
The Royals are coming off a 72-90 season, finishing third in the AL Central behind Chicago and Detroit. Since Gordon made his major-league debut in 2007, the Royals’ best season came a year later when they won 75 games and they have lost 90 or more games in four straight seasons. So it’s understandable why Gordon is hesitant to talk about the postseason at this point.
However, Gordon is thrilled with the moves Moore has made since the end of the season. In addition to the trade with Tampa Bay, the Royals dealt for Angels starter Ervin Santana and re-signed Jeremy Guthrie.
Some fans were upset the Royals gave up top prospects such as Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi, but Moore said he owed it to players such as Gordon and Billy Butler to help create a winning culture now.
Gordon appreciated that sentiment.
“To be honest, it seems like we’ve been sitting on prospects the last six years,” Gordon said. “They’ve done a great job of building up our farm system and making it so we were able to trade some. They are great players we traded away, no question about it, but we do still have depth in our farm system, and it’s one of the best in the major leagues.
“It’s given them that option to be able to do that and go get a guy like James Shields and some of the other guys they’ve picked up. Yeah, it’s a risk-reward, but it’s something that you sometimes need to pull off.”
Gordon is coming off another stellar season for the Royals. He won a second straight Gold Glove award as the league’s best defensive left fielder and led the majors with 51 doubles.
The doubles were a career high and he also had season bests in hits (189) and walks (73).
Gordon, who is signed for the next three seasons with a player option for 2016, said the offseason moves don’t change his outlook for 2013. He still wants to make the playoffs as always. While that hasn’t worked out yet for Gordon, he has faith in Moore.
“I’ve only had one GM playing baseball, but just his attitude and what he’s able to do with his resources, he works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen,” Gordon said. “He does his research. He wants to win as bad as anybody else in this league. He’s really stepped it up this year and he knows we have good young players that are capable of winning, so I think he’s trying to just fill some pieces around them.”