We are less than two weeks away from opening day and the Royals roster is taking shape almost daily. We won’t have Bobby Witt Jr. to start the season, but we will have Salvador Perez for several more years.
Kansas City Royals 6, Colorado Rockies 1 (Box Score)
3:05pm – MLBST – San Diego Padres at Kansas City Royals (1660AM)
8:40pm – CBB – Kansas vs USC ((CBS)
Royals Extend Salvador Perez
The Royals extended Salvador Perez four years through 2025 with a club option in 2026. Perez will make $18 million in 2022, $20 million in 2023 and 2024, $22 million in 2025, and the Royals hold a club option in 2026 for $13.5 million or they can pay a $2 million buyout.
The signing of Salvador Perez is obviously great for Perez. He is entering his age 31 season in 2021. This contract will take him through at least age 35 and probably age 36. The Royals were criticized for signing him to a very club-friendly contract early in his career. They signed him to a five-year, $7 million in 2012.
In 2016, Salvador a Perez started a six-year, $52.5 million contract that runs through this season. So, if the Royals wanted to keep Perez past this season, it only made sense to sign him before the season and definitely before he reached free agency after this season.
The analytics cult won’t like the contract. They will point to Perez’s age and the fact that he had Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2019 season. Those are valid points.
In my positional analysis series I said that I would not sign Perez to a contract extension. But I still think the Royals signed a great deal here. I’m comfortable with the Royals’ view that Perez will remain healthy during this extension. If the club is willing to pay him after Tommy John surgery, they clearly expect his arm to not be an issue. I can’t argue with that.
Perez has also developed into the most reliable offensive player for the club. He arrived with a great defensive reputation, but there were concerns about his offense. He has turned into a player you want at the plate in a big spot.
But the biggest reason why the Royals want him back makes complete sense. The Royals are trying to bring a very promising group of pitchers to the major leagues in the next few years. They want an established catcher with the knowledge of Salvador Perez to be there to help make the transition easier for these pitchers.
And let’s face it. Perez is the heart and soul of this club. He picks people up with his positive attitude and energy. Perez is the most important player on the team. And even if he reaches a point where he cannot catch, his bat will allow him to be a designated hitter.
So even though I was not in favor of an extension for Salvador Perez, I completely understand it. If the Royals were set on signing Perez to an extension, this was a great deal for both sides.
Bobby Witt Jr. Demoted
Bobby Witt Jr. was demoted on Sunday according to Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal expects Witt to start the season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He could be back with the major league club soon, allowing the Royals to lock in another year of control. The Royals say they don’t play the service time game, and Brady Singer’s 2020 season would back that up, but this sure smells like that’s what is happening.
Maybe that’s an unfair accusation. Witt hasn’t played above rookie ball and he didn’t play many games there and it was back in 2019. But we heard about how well he did at the alternate training site last year. And if you have seen him at the plate, you know he has a better approach than most current major league players.
It’s not surprising that the Royals reportedly demoted Witt. In fact, I have said that I expected this to happen. The Royals must not think he is ready. But if the team is playing well, but hurt by the offense of Nicky Lopez, don’t be surprised if Witt is in the majors sometime this season.
Pushed by another scrappy underdog, this time Kansas doesn’t blink (CJ Moore)
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