An increasingly popular trend in baseball is teams signing young players to contract extensions before they get to arbitration. Seattle recently signed rookie star Julio Rodríguez to an extension with a minimum 12-year term and reported worth of at least $210 million. Atlanta has signed two rookies, Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider, to reported eight-year, $72 million and six-year, $75 million deals, respectively. The KC Royals should follow this trend and sign Vinnie Pasquantino to a long-term extension.
Pasquantino, who wasn’t called up to the majors this season until Kansas City traded Carlos Santana late in June, played in 72 games for the Royals in 2022 and in 258 at-bats posted a .295/.383/.450 stat line with 10 home runs, 26 RBIs, and 76 hits. What also stood out in his abbreviated season is that he walked more than he struck out, accumulating 35 walks to 34 strikeouts.
What kind of contract offer could the KC Royals give Vinnie Pasquantino?
It’s hard to find contracts based on numbers comparable to Pasquantino’s because he’s a designated hitter-first baseman who’s played only 72 games. A possible comparison is the extension Hunter Dozier signed in 2021, which gave him a four-year contract for $25 million with a fifth-year option.
The year before Dozier signed his extension, he had a line of .228/.344/.392 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Dozier’s breakout season was 2019 when he played 139 games and slashed .279/.348/.522, hit 26 homers, and drove in 84 runs
Pasquantino, of course, hasn’t played as many seasons and doesn’t have the numbers Dozier did three seasons ago. But he does share other similar qualities with Dozier. At the time of Dozier’s extension, he was considered a player with power potential who could help lead the team offensively. Pasquantino is also considered to be a player with an immense offensive potential and leadership qualities that blend well with the Royals’ young nucleus.
While Dozier’s contract doesn’t look as promising as it did when the Royals signed him in 2021, Pasquantino’s future couldn’t be brighter. There is no better time for the Royals to offer Pasquantino a long-term extension, which could be comparable in value to Dozier’s but longer to get him past his initial eligibility for free agency. Maybe at the end of such an extension Royals fans won’t be calling Pasquantino just “VP” but might also refer to him as “MVP”.
Kansas City should extend Vinnie Pasquantino.