SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Though he mostly avoided the rumors during free agency, Alex Gordon said Saturday he was very aware the White Sox had interest in him.
Sitting at his stall in the cushy and newly renovated clubhouse at Surprise Stadium, the Kansas City Royals veteran outfielder said the White Sox were one of his strongest suitors in the offseason. Ultimately, Gordon got his wish and returned to Kansas City, the only team he’s ever known. He signed a four-year, $72-million deal in January.
“Sox were definitely interested,” Gordon said. “They were up there. I like them, yeah. But it worked out the way it was supposed to. They were definitely in there though.
“(Kansas City) was my No. 1 option.”
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Hard to fault Gordon, who turned 32 last month.
The Royals drafted the Nebraska product with the second pick in 2005. He reached the big leagues in 2007 and bore witness to six straight losing seasons. The Royals averaged a 70-92 mark in that span.
But everything has changed for the better since 2013, including two straight American League pennants and a World Series title last season. Now, Gordon has a chance to spend his entire career around the “family”-like atmosphere the Royals have created.
“After every conversation I had with (agent Casey Close) it was always, ‘Have the Royals said anything?’” Gordon said. “This is where I grew up. Its where I wanted to be. Coming from the bad times to really cherish the good times, why not stay here?”
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There were plenty of rumors about where Gordon may land in December and January. At first it looked as if the sides may not reunite. Then the White Sox entered the fray. And then a report surfaced that the White Sox were confident about their chances of landing either Gordon or Yoenis Cespedes.
Gordon said he stayed out of the process and trusted Close.
“It was different,” Gordon said. “It was something I’ve never experienced, but the whole time I was just telling myself to be patient and not get frustrated with the process. I’ve got a really good agent. He took good care of me and kept me in the loop the whole time. But it ended up the way I wanted it to end up.”