The Kansas City Royals have made it known that everyone is up for trade negotiations. However, if the Royals have one player they should not trade, it’s Salvador Perez.
We all know the Kansas City Royals are bad. We also know that the Royals would be foolish to not listen to trade offers for every player on the team. However, at some point, you have to make a list that’s broken into three categories: Need to trade, Wow us and we will trade, Never going to trade.
Nearly every player is in the “need to trade” column, with a few in the “wow us” column. The only player who should be in the “never” column is Salvador Perez. Here is why.
Perez is currently having one of the worst years of his career. Over the course of the year, Perez is hitting a lackluster .211/.253/.388 with 48 strikeouts compared to just nine walks. Over the last month, Perez is hitting .154/.198/.253 with 22 strikeouts. Without a doubt, this is the worst stretch Perez has had thus far in his professional career.
Trading him now would bring back a worse haul than any other year. If the Royals were to trade Perez during this type of year, the message would be pretty clear on with the direction they are going. Complete and total rebuild, and tearing it down like the Florida Marlins did back in 2007.
With fans struggling to stick around, having this type of trade and the sure lack of return it would bring wouldn’t keep fans around. It would push them away.
Speaking of fans. They’re my second reason why the Royals need to keep Perez. This is new for me because I typically don’t play the “fan” card. However, with where the Royals are and what is coming in the near future, the Royals need to take that card into consideration.
Fans love Perez. He is exactly what every franchise wants in a player when it comes to being productive and connecting with fans. In fact, fans come to the baseball games to see Perez play behind the dish and the hopeful “Salvy Splash” at the end of the game. Without Perez, some fans will walk away.
The reason I bring the fan card into this actually goes deeper. The Royals may be in a hard place in the next few years. Reason being, they have a new TV contract they will have to negotiate. The current deal runs through 2019, meaning in a short year-and-a-half the Royals will be working on getting more money than the measly $20 million they are getting right now.
If fans start leaving, and the Royals start losing players known around the league, TV companies might be more hesitant to negotiate a contract that is lucrative enough to better aid the Royals than the previous one they had. If they keep Perez, they keep viewership and some fans will continue going to the games.
This is my last reason. The Royals will be in trouble when it comes to the catcher’s position for a while. What I mean by this is simple. Drew Butera is a free agent after this year and could quite possibly be traded in the coming weeks. Cam Gallegher is the next closest catcher the Royals have. After that, you have MJ Melendez who isn’t projected to make his debut until 2021 and Meibrys Viloria who is projected to make his debut in 2020.
The Royals have gone through the motions in the past of having “stop-gap” catchers and it didn’t work well. Reverting back to that style of baseball can only spell one thing for the Royals and their soon-to-be young rotation. And it isn’t good.
I know Gallegher has MLB time and has a good relationship with Jakob Junis, but I personally am still not sold on Gallagher as an everyday catcher.
Perez currently doesn’t have a contract that is crippling the team financially. Over the next three-years Perez is set to make $39.6 million, never going over $14.5 million on any given year. He is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2021 season, which does mean he is going to be a free agent most likely when the team begins their next run. However, that doesn’t mean they need to trade him or won’t bring him back in some capacity.
Rumors are that Perez is not on the board to be traded unless someone knocks their socks off. I personally don’t believe that type of trade proposal will happen this year. What worries me is that it might happen during the Winter Meetings or during the 2019 season.
We have seen it over-and-over again. Perez makes the Royals a better team. Defensively, he is a four-time Gold Glove winner. He has been an All-Star five times, starting four times. He was the 2015 World Series MVP and a Silver Slugger in 2016. Baserunner have to be alert at all times because of Perez’s snap throws to first and even third.
With what Perez means to Kansas City, and what his baseball production has been this year, trading Perez makes little-to-no-sense. To quote The Godfather, if I’m Dayton Moore, the only reason I trade Perez is if I’m given “an offer I can’t refuse”. My gut tells me that won’t happen though.
What do you think Royals fans? Am I missing anything? Should the Royals trade Perez? Let us know below!