Salvador Perez’ Contract Keeps Getting More Absurd
By Brian Henry
We are three years into the Salvador Perez contract extension that is probably at this point the most insane contract in baseball, as we have touched on before. There are two more years left and then three option years before the Royals lose control of what might be there most valuable asset and he will make less than basically everyone else on the team who matters during that time. For instance, Alex Rios will make more this season than Perez will through the remaining two years and the first option year combined. This piece on Salvy was pretty good, but I want to hone in on just the alluded to contract and what I think the royals should do about it.
So the contract for Perez was given at a very early stage in his career, he had only been to the plate 158 times as a major league player and was and was 21 years old. From day one, seriously his first game was impressive, he looked the part. He has not disappointed from there.
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The first three years of his contract he has piled up accolades including two All-Star games and 2 Golden Glove awards at one of the most important defensive positions. Fangraphs has his value over that time as 9.5 WAR (bWAR is 10.5) and $47.9 million while he made a paltry $3.25 million. Congrats to Dayton Moore by the way on generating that amount of surplus value in such a little time, and it doesn’t even include the playoffs. My only concern is that it is going to be so unfair that it makes the Royals look bad. If they pick up all three options Salvador will end up with $21.25 million, a value that he has more than doubled with 5 more years to go.
Projections for Salvador Perez for 2015 have him exceeding any of his previous seasons as he is heading toward his age 25 season (he turns 25 in May). If he puts up around 4 more fWAR, as ZIPS, Steamer, and fans on Fangraphs have projected him to, then this contract will continue to look more and more absurd. I do think however, that the Royals could do a few things to make sure we as fans know that they intend to take care of Salvador. The worst thing that could happen is an injury in the near term that means he never gets those more lucrative option years at $3.75, $5, and $6 million.
I have a proposal for taking care of Salvador that is simple, pick up all those options now since he has already earned them. Even if they end up being dead money for some reason it still seems like the right thing to do, and really they are unlikely to be bad since he can outpace them by being a 1 WAR player on average in those seasons. This is a high upside PR move for the Royals that will put little to no strain on any long term budget plans. I honestly wouldn’t mind it if they figured out a way to go farther than that, but that would start reaching into unnecessary territory as extending him beyond 2019 seems a little silly as does ripping up the current contract.
Salvador Perez is to my mind the heart of this current Royals team. When they signed him to his current contract he was an unproven, mid-range prospect who has developed into a potential baseball superstar and I think the team should treat him as such. I hope the front office will do everything they can to make sure he is taken care of, and to let him know he is appreciated. This would be a relatively small gesture with no immediate impact, but I think it would go a very long way to Salvy and the fans.
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