Alex Gordon was in the same draft as three players with $100 million contracts - Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki.

In fact, the Kansas City Royals selected Gordon ahead of all three, making him the second overall pick in 2005.

Gordon, 28, had a rockier ascent than his more heralded peers, but last season he finally reached their level, producing a career-high .879 OPS and winning a Gold Glove in left field.

The question now is whether the Royals can keep him long-term.

Gordon might not command $100 million – his track record is shorter than those of Zimmerman, Braun and Tulowitzki. But he almost certainly will want more than $55 million, the previous club record shared by Gil Meche and Mike Sweeney.

Negotiations for an extension are in the early stages, but expected to intensify later this spring, major-league sources say.