The KC Royals are not in the market for handing out large contracts, not now or historically. They are one of two team in the modern era to win a World Series and also never sign a player to a contract worth more than $100 million. The small-market model of not spending money and developing players has yielded very few championships, but two for Kansas City. The team eventually has to spend money to retain their younger players, and FanGraphs suggests that one player should be first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino.
KC Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino is a prime extension candidate, according to FanGraphs' Dan Szymborski.
FanGraphs' senior writer Dan Szymborski put together a list of contract extension candidates and a fair price point. His very last entry was Pasquantino. Szymborski called the Pasquatch Kansas City's "most developed" hitting prospects this season. He is not wrong, even though Vinnie doesn't even have a full season's worth of games under his belt. Last season, Pasquantino was one of eight qualified MLB players to walk more than he struck out. He was the first Royals player to do that since 2009, and Pasquantino did it as a rookie. While that is not the ultimate hitting mark, it showed how polished Pasquantino was in his debut season.
Now an everyday player for the Royals, Pasquantino has a bigger role and is more important to the Royals lineup. Szymborski proposed a seven-year, $54 million deal to keep Pasquantino in Kansas City through his age-32 season. The price point is not unrealistic. It would be the second-largest extension contract in Royals history, trailing catcher Salvador Perez's extension in 2021.
Royals fans were rightfully disgruntled about most of the 2015 World Series-winning homegrown players departing Kansas City for bigger paydays. Outfielder Alex Gordon was the only headline player who stayed, and previous ownership was unwilling to pay for more contracts. If the Royals identify players they can build around, they should seriously consider extending them now. The Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves have extended players early in their careers, paying dividends for both clubs. Even the Royals did this back in 2012, when Perez signed a five-year, $7 million extension after 39 career games. That proved to be a great investment, as Perez clearly outperformed that contract.
The Royals should not wait until pennants and championships come to Kansas City to extend some of their core players. Pasquantino looks like a foundational player for the Royals' next contending team. Now is the time to strike on a contract extension, and FanGraphs' projection would be a win for the Royals, Pasquantino, and the fans.