Yesterday’s big rumor had the Chicago Cubs as possibly one of many suitors for left fielder Alex Gordon this offseason, once he’s done starring in the World Series. My reaction, together with most of yours, went something like this: he’s a great player, but it’s hard to see him leaving Kansas City, and, even if he did, it would be tricky fitting him into the Cubs’ equation, what with their overload at the corner outfield spots and need in center field. I can see the attraction to a player like Gordon – we actually talked about him before the 2015 season – but using somewhat limited resources on a 32-year-old corner outfielder could be tricky, unless it was skillfully paired with some trades that unglutted the outfield, while simultaneously bringing in impact pitching. Not impossible, of course, but it’s tough to coordinate so much movement.
In any case, I’d expected to let the issue go for a little while, but, during an interview today on The Score, Peter Gammons connected Gordon and the Cubs, completely unprompted.
When asked about the Cubs’ possible offseason moves, Gammons mentioned some pitching approaches (generally, with no specific names), and then added: “I’ve heard a lot about them possibly going out after Alex Gordon, who would give them a very stable presence in the order [with] all the young kids, and also a great defender – the best left fielder in the game.”
Gammon went on to mention the possibility that the Cubs could shop Jorge Soler and Starlin Castro, which would potentially work together with a Gordon signing, depending on how it was all orchestrated.
So, that is all to say, apparently there’s some discussion out there about the Cubs and Alex Gordon. Yesterday, it was Joel Sherman, today it’s Peter Gammons. None of that means that the Cubs definitely are interested in actually pursuing Gordon, much less that they have designs on pursuing him aggressively, but it does mean that there’s conversation happening at some level, even if just outside the organization.
Speaking of which, your obligatory offseason caveat: teams consider tons of options. Players’ agents consider tons of options. There are legitimate rumors that never actually have much chance of coming to fruition. And there are bogus rumors that definitely have little chance of coming to fruition. There are misdirections. There are well-meaning mistakes. At times, rumor season will feel like silly season. We’ll do our best here at BN to bring you everything reasonably credible and worth discussing, but while also trying to help you keep your head about yourself.
In this instance, then, it’s entirely possible that someone(s) is out there connecting the Cubs and Gordon for an ulterior purpose, given the attractiveness of the Cubs as a destination. For a purely hypothetical example, imagine a scenario where Gordon wants to say in Kansas City, and indeed wants to sign early in the process – maybe even before free agency opens up five days after the World Series. In that situation, it might behoove his camp to get word out that there’s a sexy team out there that really, really wants Gordon if he reaches free agency. Then, perhaps, you can get the Royals to pull the trigger on a few more dollars or an extra year.
That’s all purely hypothetical, mind you, but you can see how it would play out at this time of year. (Although hypothetical, I can’t deny I wonder a bit – the timing of these Gordon-Cubs rumors are kind of strange, given the specificity and the ongoing World Series. Some circumspection is advised.)