Kansas City Royals and Salvador Perez Starting Contract Talks

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Feb 23, 2016; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) catches during a workout at Surprise Stadium Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2016; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) catches during a workout at Surprise Stadium Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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George Brett. Frank White. Alex Gordon. These are the names that come to mind when one thinks Forever Royal. If he has his way, Salvador Perez will join them as career members of the Kansas City Royals.

Salvador Perez may well have the most team friendly contract in baseball. Even with all of his team options picked up, the All-Star catcher will only cost the Kansas City Royals a total of $16.75 Million over the next four seasons. Understandably, Perez, given his power and Gold Glove defense behind the plate, would like a contract more in line with his production.

Approximately a month ago, the Royals were reported to be looking to rework Perez’ contract. Even with the Royals holding all the leverage with his contract, keeping Perez happy and rewarding his contributions both on and off the field may well be more important than any financial flexibility that his contract provides.

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Now, it appears as though those negotiations are picking up steam. With the Royals offseason shopping spree completed, and extensions for Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain in place, the team is focusing their attention on Perez, with both sides looking to keep him in Kansas City for the long term.

Obviously, there are concerns with any long term extension for a catcher. Will Perez’ knees hold up through a second extension? Can Perez, who has seen his on base percentage and OPS+ decrease in the past four seasons, reverse the trend, showing more plate discipline with his increased power? The answers to those questions would likely determine how successful another extension would be for the Royals.

Given the amount of money that Perez has lost with his extremely team friendly contract, it is understandable that he may want to maximize his earnings as much as possible. However, with the Royals willing to negotiate at this point, despite having four more years left on that original extension, that may lead to Perez giving another discount. While it would not be even close to the discount the Royals have already received, they may find themselves able to retain Perez for less than it would have cost if he hit the open market when the extension runs out.

Next: Royals looking to retain core beyond 2017

Over the past couple of seasons, the Kansas City Royals have seemingly done everything correct in regards to how they built their team. It may not be conventional, but one cannot argue with the results. While restructuring Salvador Perez’ contract at this point may not fit conventional wisdom, that does not matter. The Royals clubhouse bond, and the desire to make Perez Forever Royal in his own right, may be more valuable than that financial flexibility.

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