gordon back with royals on $72M deal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With a cold wind blowing outside and the warmth of spring training still more than a month away, Alex Gordon walked into the home clubhouse of Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday and grinned.
He was home. And he will be for a while.
The All-Star outfielder signed a $72 million, four-year deal to remain with the Royals, the long-downtrodden team that drafted him more than a decade ago and that he helped climb to the pinnacle of the sport with a World Series triumph last season.
"When I walked into the locker room, it put a smile on my face," Gordon said, "because at the end of the season, I didn't know if I was going to be able to do that again."
The deal is the richest in franchise history, trumping $55 million agreements given to longtime first baseman Mike Sweeney and starting pitcher Gil Meche.
Gordon declined a $13.75 million option to test free agency, but several outfielders on the market — including Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton — might have depressed the 31-year-old's value. And there is Gordon's recent injury history that limited him to 104 games last season.
"It was definitely a process," Gordon said, "but we got to that point, and I'm happy with where I'm at now."
Braves: Former Rays infielder Kelly Johnson, 33, agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract for his third stint with the Braves.
Brewers: Free agent first baseman Chris Carter signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract.
Pirates: Former AL rookie of the year Neftali Feliz agreed to a $3.9 million, one-year contract. The right-hander became a free agent last month when Detroit failed to offer a 2016 contract,
Djokovic, Nadal cruise in Qatar
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open in Doha.
Djokovic captured a 6-2, 6-2 second-round win against Fernando Verdasco. Nadal looked confident during his 6-3, 6-2 win against Robin Haase.
"I played at a very high level against a player that I think played well for a lot of moments," Nadal said.
Brisbane International: Victoria Azarenka reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ysaline Bonaventure in Perth. Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza joined the tournament's injury procession when she retired in the second set of her match against American Varvara Lepchenko with a left foot injury.
Golf: Christy O'Connor Jr., the Irishman who produced the shot of his career to help Europe retain the Ryder Cup in 1989, has died. He was 67. Mr. O'Connor died in his sleep while on vacation in Tenerife in Spain's Canary Islands, the European Tour said. In the 1989 Ryder Cup at the Belfry in England, Mr. O'Connor hit a 2-iron from the fairway to about 31/2 feet at the 18th, helping him win the hole and secure a 1-up victory over Fred Couples. The point helped Europe earn a 14-14 draw to retain the trophy as defending champion.