With their aggressive pursuit of Jason Heyward before he signed with the Chicago Cubs, the Nationals made it clear they are in the market for an outfielder this winter. Several interesting names remain in free agency, but one option can now be crossed off the list.
That would be All-Star Alex Gordon, who re-signed with the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. According to ESPN, his deal is worth four years and $72 million, not a bad price for a player of his caliber. Gordon has been an integral part of two pennant-winning Royals teams, including the World Series champion 2015 club.
With Gordon off the market, the best options remaining are Yoenis Cespedes, Dexter Fowler and Justin Upton. Gerardo Parra and Denard Span are also still unsigned, as well.
Some may be surprised at the deal Gordon got, especially when compared to the $184 million it took for Chicago to sign Heyward. But Gordon does turn 32 in February and may have given Kansas City a hometown discount to come back. We'll see if that affects the deals given to Cespedes and Upton, in particular, who are holding out for marquee money despite a slow-moving market.
The Nationals have a solid outfield of Jayson Werth, Michael Taylor and Bryce Harper returning for 2016, but could likely use at least a fourth outfielder to add depth in case of injury. Heyward would have been much more than that, which perhaps shows they are worried about Werth's durability or Taylor's readiness to take on a full-time starting role.