Left fielder Alex Gordon preceded his 28th birthday Thursday afternoon by taking what could be the first step to a long-term relationship with the Royals.

The two sides reached agreement on a one-year contract for $4.775 million, which eliminates the need for an arbitration hearing Feb. 16 in Tampa, Fla., and clears the path for renewed talks on a multi-year contract.

"They know they have me for two (more) years," Gordon said. "So do we. I think both sides just want to think it through and get things right — like we did with the one-year deal. We're not trying to rush things, and I think that's how it's been so far."