The Kansas City Royals are in the midst of a terrific run dating back two seasons, featuring a deep and talented roster with a drive to succeed. But with outfielder Alex Gordon set to become the first of their core to reach free agency this offseason, the question arises: Is this the start of the Royals’ stars bolting the small market?

On MLB Network Radio, Steve Phillips wondered if Gordon is actually worth the contract he’ll demand.

“Can you afford to pay $18 million a year to Alex Gordon, who is going to be a 70 to 80-RBI guy? He’s not a 100-RBI player, he’s not a 25 home run guy,” Phillips said. “This team could look different. I mean, Ben Zobrist isn’t going back to Kansas City, he’s a free agent as well. And you start to look, [Johnny] Cueto’s not going back to Kansas City, Gordon I think is going to leave. I don’t understand how they’re going to be able to afford to bring him back.”

Todd Hollandsworth also questioned whether the Royals should commit to Gordon.

“Kansas City’s not the type of organization that can afford to get burned by paying certain individuals extra dollars because of who they are, what they’ve done, and how they fit into our community and our society,” said Hollandsworth. “I just don’t think they can put themselves in that position because it will limit everything that they do moving forward, because of where they fall with the budget.”

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