CHICAGO -- Alex Gordon essentially has one year and two months left on the four-year, $72 million contract he signed in 2016, and the Royals left fielder admitted on Wednesday he has at least pondered the notion of retiring when the deal expires.Standing inside the visiting clubhouse at Guaranteed Rate
CHICAGO -- Alex Gordon essentially has one year and two months left on the four-year, $72 million contract he signed in 2016, and the Royals left fielder admitted on Wednesday he has at least pondered the notion of retiring when the deal expires.
Standing inside the visiting clubhouse at Guaranteed Rate Field, Gordon spoke openly about the physical toll the game takes on a player, as well as the emotional toll.
"It's a grind," Gordon said. "I miss my kids and family."
Gordon will be 35 when his contract ends. There is a mutual option (with a $4 million buyout) in 2020, but the Royals have yet to exercise a mutual option under the present front-office regime.
Although Gordon stays in tremendous shape, he admits he's not getting younger. While he remains an elite defender with five American League Gold Glove Awards and possibly headed for a sixth this season, Gordon's offense tapered off dramatically under the new contract. He hit .220 in 2016 and .208 with a career-low .608 OPS in 148 games last season.
Gordon is hitting just .243 this season, though he homered and doubled in the Royals' 10-5 win over the White Sox on Wednesday night.
In considering his future, Gordon also takes into account the Royals' current direction, in terms of building for the future.
"Obviously, I'm getting up there in age in terms of not many years of me left playing," he said. "I think I dealt with this mentally the last time I signed a contract. It depends on how I feel in one year and two months. Who knows? I may want to play longer. Or I may just want to be with my family. It's the family decision that I think about most. [Retirement] crosses your mind.
"I'm a family man. One thing about this game is that it has given me everything in the world. I've been very fortunate. But it does take a lot of time away from your kids and your family. My oldest son is going to be 8 years old and I'm missing out on a lot of things he is doing."
Gordon and his wife, Jamie, have two sons, Max and Sam, and a daughter, Joey Lynn, who was born last year.
Gordon said he isn't sure if he would stay in baseball in some capacity if he was to stop playing after next season.
"I've always thought about what I'd do after I was done playing," Gordon said. "One thing I know is that I'd take a year or two off and just regroup. I've never done anything other than this for a long, long time. I'll just sit back and kind of figure out where I am and go from there."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.