Alex Gordon Demoted

A week ago, the Brewers seemingly played the service time system to postpone J.J. Hardy’s free agency by a season. Today, the Royals are following suit with Alex Gordon.

Entering this year Gordon had exactly two years of service time. By taking him out of the equation for more than a few weeks, the Royals have pushed back his free agency eligibility by an entire season. Obviously this has been a poor season for Gordon. He’s hitting .198/.300/.313 and even worse since returning from the disabled list.

Certainly Gordon has given the Royals enough of a reason to demote him, but the timing is ultimately peculiar. Active for a month, did anything really chance within four weeks time that made the Royals think some time at Triple-A would help Gordon more than continuing play with the big league team? The only race involving the Royals is the race for Bryce Harper.

The problem with his game so far is his inability to drive the ball or make consistently solid contact. More than 50% of his batted balls are grounders, a figure well above his career average. If going down a level will somehow relax Gordon or alleviate pressure, then I guess it makes sense. Otherwise, it seems like a ploy to get another year of cost control; which is smart player management if not the most morally upstanding act.

Perhaps the more pressing matter is not Gordon’s 2009 status, but what the future holds for him. Playing draft retrospective is a bit silly, but the Royals chose him over Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Braun, two of the best players in the National League, meanwhile Gordon has yet to record a three-win season. Although he has been above average in both of his seasons to date, that’s probably not what the Royals expected when taking him second overall.

It’ll be interesting to see whether a team tries to take Gordon off KC’s hands this off-season, and if the Royals go through with it.

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Doug Melvin
13 years ago

“the Brewers seemingly played the service time system to postpone J.J. Hardy’s free agency by a season.”

Stop. Just stop.

From last week’s comments:

“Is Hardy still a league average player when he’s hitting like, I don’t know, Khalil Greene? Yes, he is. In fact, he’s a valuable player when doing so. But what he isn’t is a player performing to his full capabilities.

The argument that he shouldn’t be sent down because he’s still better than most of the other players at his position is absurd. Say I have a 70? flat panel television in my living room. The colors are great, the black levels are deep, and the native resolution is 1920×1080. It’s just an awesome set. But one day, it stops displaying images in HD: 480p is the highest resolution the set will display. I’m still getting the colors and the black levels, but the clarity is significantly reduced. But, hey, I still have one of the five or six best television sets on my block, why should I bother calling a repair man?

J.J. has had some bad luck this year. But his struggles aren’t wholly luck-based and sending him down so he can do the following…

a) make use of the three day reporting period to get some rest that he has openly desired
b) work on the issues that are currently holding him back

…all while taking an, at worst, negligible hit to the performance of the Major League club?

This is anything but service time manipulation.”

13 years ago
Reply to  Doug Melvin

God, I really hope this is Doug Melvin.

12 years ago
Reply to  Doug Melvin

Hah, I was about to respond to this, then I saw the name.