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Sunday, March 21, 2021

Kansas City Royals, C Salvador Perez agree on 4-year extension

The Kansas City Royals and catcher Salvador Perez have agreed to a four-year extension, the team announced Sunday.

The contract is worth $82 million, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports, which makes it the richest deal in Royals history. The Kansas City Star first reported the financial aspect of Perez’s extension.

Perez’s extension, which begins with the 2022 season, comes after a 2020 season in which he was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year.

He missed the 2019 season after having Tommy John surgery, but returned with a bang in the shortened ‘20 campaign. The 2015 World Series MVP hit a career-best .333 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 37 games.

His career-high .633 slugging percentage was the second highest in Royals history, trailing only George Brett (.664 in 1980). And he became just the third catcher since 1900 to record multihit games, including an extra-base hits, in six consecutive contests (Sept. 11-18).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2021 at 04:31 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals, salvador perez

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: March 21, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6009485)
He'll be 31 in May and has played in 979 games so far in his career. He walks just a little more often than the victim of a spinal cord injury.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 21, 2021 at 07:07 PM (#6009491)
And he became just the third catcher since 1900 to record multihit games, including an extra-base hits, in six consecutive contests (Sept. 11-18).
Well then. Back up the truck!!
   3. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: March 21, 2021 at 08:51 PM (#6009504)
Dayton Moore is, by all accounts, quite sincere about creating an organization that "takes care" of players and is seen as something of a family. And I'm not going to shed any tears if he wants to spend a bunch of John Sherman's money.

But woof, that is a rough contract.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2021 at 08:55 PM (#6009506)
This is surely a bad idea from a financial perspective -- which is exactly what I said about the first extension. :-) If memory serves, that extension was signed a couple of years earlier than necessary; this one a year early. I did say "financial" (i.e. $/expected WAR) -- from a "franchise icon" perspective, it might make sense.

has played in 979 games so far in his career

Yes but "just" 889 starts at C. I'm surprised it's that low -- he got started young and has been very heavily used but missing all of 2019 and the 2020 season have saved him a lot of wear and tear. All said and done, 889 starts through age 30 isn't bad -- Mauer had 885 and he was very lightly used as a C; Fisk had a lot of injuries and made it just over 800; at the extreme, Bench had nearly 1400; Yadier over 1100.

I suspect the list of Cs (genuine ones, not, say, Tenace or Torre) who hit better in their 30s than their 20s is pretty short. Posada is one although he had very littel PT prior to age 30. That might be it -- OK, the only other one I checked was Fisk.
   5. RoyalFlush Posted: March 22, 2021 at 10:19 AM (#6009551)
This is the most "Dayton Moore" contract I can think of. Bidding against no one and paying more than any other team would for a player it's unclear any other team wants. It will be supported by 95% of the local fanbase and jeered by 95% of non-Royals fans.

His bat did come around in limited ABs in 2020. If he can be a little bit more like that guy - and relatively healthy - over the next 3 years, I can live the 4th year for a hometown guy. I'm aware there are many things that can be pointed to that make that less than likely to happen.
   6. jmurph Posted: March 22, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6009554)
When I saw this last night I absolutely assumed the Royals had some other much younger guy named Salvador Perez that I somehow hadn't heard of.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6009556)

This is the most "Dayton Moore" contract I can think of. Bidding against no one and paying more than any other team would for a player it's unclear any other team wants. It will be supported by 95% of the local fanbase and jeered by 95% of non-Royals fans.


Nailed it. I know in my head this is a dumb financial deal and yet...I love it. Keep Salvy in Royals blue. Ownership is putting their money where their mouth is, this doesn't seem like it will prevent them from making other moves. It's not my money and it keeps one of my favorite players in town.
   8. JRVJ Posted: March 22, 2021 at 10:45 AM (#6009558)
Let's be objective: this is a bad move for the team, in that it ties-down resources for a player who will almost certainly not be worth this much for those years.

Having said that, it's a damn good move to make from a team building perspective. And if nothing else, it gives the Royals some cred going forward with their own players ("Look at how we took care of Salvy. We'll do the same for you when the time come") and perhaps even FAs.

The phrase "new market inefficiency" is bandied around here with wild abandon, but it's not entirely crazy to say that being good to your people may actually be a bit of a market inefficiency in MLB 2021.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6009561)
A lot of people seem to think Salvy will have to move off catcher, I guess because Posey and Mauer had to. But is there any reason to think he would have to? If he moves to 1B or DH, he becomes a below replacement level player, I would think, so keeping him behind the plate seems paramount. Is there anything we know about how catchers age? There was an adage that bigger catchers age worse, but I have no idea if the data actually bears that out. Bench always struck me as a bigger guy, and he stayed behind the plate until his very last years.
   10. bunyon Posted: March 22, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6009562)
I love that he's staying in KC and would rather he have that money than the owners.


But, to keep him in KC is there any reason to think they needed to pay him 20MM per year?
   11. RoyalFlush Posted: March 22, 2021 at 10:59 AM (#6009563)
The phrase "new market inefficiency" is bandied around here with wild abandon, but it's not entirely crazy to say that being good to your people may actually be a bit of a market inefficiency in MLB 2021.


Dayton Moore is 1-0* the past 14 years in arbitration. Part of his philosophy is to NOT go down that road with anyone. I think that's part of the "being good to your people".

*Brandon Maurer, 2018
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2021 at 11:03 AM (#6009564)
But, to keep him in KC is there any reason to think they needed to pay him 20MM per year?

Concur, I think this extension gets signed at $16M per also.
   13. Perry Posted: March 22, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6009566)
Bench always struck me as a bigger guy, and he stayed behind the plate until his very last years.


FWIW, Bench is listed at 6-1, 197; Perez at 6-3, 255.

   14. Rally Posted: March 22, 2021 at 11:44 AM (#6009567)
Bench’s last year as a regular catcher was 1980, he was 32. Salvy will be 31 this year. For the Royals sake I hope he lasts longer behind the plate than Bench did.

For an optimistic path, Fisk was bigger than Bench and caught till he was 45.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 22, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6009577)
Bench’s last year as a regular catcher was 1980, he was 32. Salvy will be 31 this year. For the Royals sake I hope he lasts longer behind the plate than Bench did.

You can't really compare anyone to Bench as far as wear and tear goes. He caught A LOT. Through the 1980 (age 32) season Bench had played 1877 G, 1622 at C.

Perez has 908 Gs at C. He'll be well over 35 before he matches Bench's workload.
   16. Itchy Row Posted: March 22, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6009586)
And he became just the third catcher since 1900 to record multihit games, including an extra-base hits, in six consecutive contests (Sept. 11-18).
Well then. Back up the truck!!
The other two? You guessed it- Jimmie Foxx and Smoky Burgess.
   17. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: March 22, 2021 at 02:07 PM (#6009587)
Bench had back and shoulder problems, apparently stemming from collisions at the plate, going back at least to 1976. That's not supposed to be such an issue now, although catching is obviously a demanding job.
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: March 22, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6009591)

Bench had back and shoulder problems, apparently stemming from collisions at the plate, going back at least to 1976. That's not supposed to be such an issue now, although catching is obviously a demanding job.


I think the question for most backstops now is the concussion count. How's Salvy stack up there?

   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6009592)
I remember he had a bunch early in his career.
   20. Zach Posted: March 22, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#6009605)
Objectively, a bad contract.

Subjectively, my favorite player.
   21. Zach Posted: March 22, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6009606)
Health permitting, I don't think he'll be moved off catcher anytime soon.

As a catcher, he's above average defensively and offensively. At first base, neither is true.
   22. Perry Posted: March 22, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6009608)
Bench had back and shoulder problems, apparently stemming from collisions at the plate, going back at least to 1976.


In addition to the catching wear and tear, Bench had a lung infection requiring major surgery after the 1972 season, when he was 24. He never had the same power again. He'd hit 45 homers in 1970 and 40 in 1972, but his high post-surgery was 33.
   23. flournoy Posted: March 22, 2021 at 03:59 PM (#6009612)
Well you learn something every day. I've learned that Jimmie Foxx spent time as a catcher, and that Johnny Bench spent time as something other than a catcher. I'm not really surprised, but I guess I never realized that.
   24. Zach Posted: March 22, 2021 at 03:59 PM (#6009613)
You know, if he ages well, Salvy could be the first True Royal in a generation to be a legitimate Hall of Fame candidate.

Damon's candidacy revolves around his Red Sox years. Beltran's revolves around the Mets. Greinke's as much a Royal as anything, but he forced his way out of town. Gordon's a True Royal, but not a compelling candidate.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: March 22, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6009616)
Greinke's as much a Royal as anything, but he forced his way out of town.


Even so, I suspect his plaque cap would be a Royals one unless he really doesn't want it to be.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: March 22, 2021 at 05:01 PM (#6009622)
Johnny Bench spent time as something other than a catcher

Bench was massively used. At age 22 (his 3rd full season already), he started 130 games at C, 17 in the OF and 5 at 1B. That was basically the pattern for the next few years until at 26 he had 129 at C and a whopping 30 at 3B.

But I suspect you mean you learned he had a couple of seasons where he barely caught. At 33, which was the 81 strike year, he was moved to 1B pretty much permanently at the end of April (and he'd had a lot of days off to that point) and still missed about 60% of the season. I'm not sure what happened at that spring/April but I assume everybody agreed he was done as a C. He played more 3B the next year.

Joe Nolan, who was a very solid C, took over and had an excellent year in 81. But he was 30, it wasn't a case of Bench being pushed aside for a young guy. In 82 they brought in Alex Trevino who was a young guy but had already established himself as not too good and pretty strictly backup material.

Back to Salvy ... as I said, thanks to missing 2019 and part of the shortened 2020, his career catching load is now not very heavy. Of course, a serious injury isn't a good thing and, for all I know, that might keep him from making 120-130 starts a year now. But as I mentioned in #4, he's no longer in any sort of danger zone for overuse. His obvious comp remains Yadier who caught an insane amount from 32-35. (Having tried squatting behind the plate for a few innings, I think anything over 10 starts is insane.)

His bat did come around in limited ABs in 2020. If he can be a little bit more like that guy - and relatively healthy - over the next 3 years

He's always been an above-average hitter for a C -- if he can keep doing that and making 120 starts a year, he'll be valuable (see Yadier) ... maybe not quite $20 M a year valuable but close enough. Meanwhile for 2020, "come around" is quite the understatement ... he hit 333/353/633 (161 OPS+). It was only 156 PA and will likely disappear as quickly as it arrived but that's "coming around" like sailing a little dinghy around the harbor then winning the America's Cup would be coming around.

Way back when the A's got Jason Kendall I took a fairly deep dive into the aging of starting Cs. I recall running several, expanding set of comps from "all-stars" to "pretty much anybody who started regularly in their late 20s." I found a fairly even split of four groups -- about 1/4 maintained durability and continued to hit similarly with some standard age-related decline; about 1/4 continued to hit but couldn't stay on the field; about 1/4 remained durable but the hitting dropped badly; and about 1/4 lost both durability and hitting.

Kendall fell into that 3rd group (he was amazingly durable) which was kinda OK because he had been such a good hitter that his big decline still left him playable. For 32-35, he had 8 WAR, 1 WAA, terrible bat, excellent defense and a whopping 551 starts at C.

Perez is above-average with the bat for a C but, unless 2020 is a signal, he doesn't have far to fall to be average -- standard age-related decline will probably take him there. In which case, he needs to fall into that first group to maintain solid value. I'd have said much the same about Yadi at this age but he did have that nice peak as a hitter in full seaosns for 28-30 so his bat had further to fall.

Other than Fisk, I don't remember which elite Cs fell into the first group at the time of my Kendall analysis. Yogi sorta although there's a lot of time away from C in those years. But since then definitely Posada and Yadi and Pudge II didn't drop to average until age 35-36. (After age 36 pretty much every class of player is a crap shoot. Also almost no pre-WW2 catcher aged well.)

   27. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 22, 2021 at 07:31 PM (#6009635)
What a great deal! I mean, I was just looking at his career stats, and he's a career .300 hitter, and there aren't very many catchers who've done that in history, so...oh, wait his career OBP is .300. My bad.

   28. baxter Posted: March 23, 2021 at 01:33 AM (#6009672)
Interesting point on the lung operation for Bench and his power.

Also, did he have issues w/his knees? I remember Scully calling a Dodgers/Reds game saying something about Bench's knees making a sound when he crouches and he knows in his heart it's a problem, something dramatic like that.
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 23, 2021 at 01:37 AM (#6009673)
Wait, your knees aren’t supposed to make a sound when you crouch?
   30. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 23, 2021 at 03:38 AM (#6009675)
Valley Fever apparently caused the lesion that was removed from Bench's lung. I didnt know that. Same thing that sidelined Ike Davis and killed Bob Uecker's son, Steve.

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