KC declines veteran Gordon's mutual option

November 1st, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- As expected, outfielder exercised his $23 million mutual option for 2020, and the Royals declined it.

The Royals will pay the $3.5 million buyout as Gordon officially becomes a free agent. The original buyout had been $4 million, but Kansas City wanted to make that payment in the next fiscal year. To accommodate Gordon, the Royals paid him $500,000 earlier.

Gordon has not yet decided whether he will return in 2020, and said he will take some time this offseason to decide. He slashed .266/.345/.396 in 150 games, his best numbers since his All-Star season in '15, and is among the finalists for what would be his third straight American League Gold Glove Award in left field.

If Gordon, 35, comes back, it likely would be on a one-year deal in the range of $3 million to $5 million.

The Royals have not exercised a mutual option under the current regime -- it mostly is an accounting procedure to add value to the original deal. Gordon signed a four-year, $72 million contract in 2016.