The Royals appear close to an agreement with left fielder Alex Gordon on a one-year contract that would eliminate the need for a Feb. 16 arbitration hearing in Tampa, Fla.

Gordon, who turns 28 on Friday, filed an arbitration request for $5.45 million, while the club countered at $4.15 million. Gordon made $1.4 million last season when he produced a breakout offensive season and won a Gold Glove for defensive excellence.

Major League labor rules permit the two sides to reach a negotiated settlement until an arbitration ruling is announced. The arbitrator must select one of the two submitted figures.