Examining Salvador Perez’s Extension

The sixth-youngest player to appear in an MLB game in 2011 signed a multiyear deal yesterday. 21-year-old Salvador Perez is now the youngest player in the sport with a long-term contract (not counting amateur signing bonuses). The Royals made a historic investment by guaranteeing $7MM to someone with just a handful of games in the Major leagues. But if Perez turns into an MLB regular behind the plate, there’s an excellent chance this deal will save the club money long-term.

Let’s set aside the year-to-year breakdown of the five-year deal and determine how the sides are valuing Perez’s first two seasons of arbitration eligibility. He’ll earn $7MM for his first five MLB seasons — essentially the league minimum for three years plus a total of $5.5MM for two arb years. 

How much do catchers have to produce to earn $5.5MM for their first two seasons of arbitration eligibility? To give you an idea, John Buck, Carlos Ruiz, Rod Barajas, Mike Napoli and Yadier Molina earned $4.5-6MM for that chunk of their careers. If Perez produces like those catchers, adding value on offense while playing capable defense on a regular basis, he and the Royals will basically have broken even through five years.

If Perez breaks out and produces like Joe Mauer, Brian McCann or Geovany Soto, the Royals will save money, even for the guaranteed portion of the deal. If he struggles to produce or stay healthy, the deal will cost the Royals more through 2016 than going year to year would have.

The contract includes three team options which were presumably essential for the Royals. They can retain him for $3.75MM in 2017 and lock up two free agent years for a total of $11MM in 2018-19. In other words, the Royals will have the chance to lock Perez’s prime age 27-29 seasons up at a well-below-market rate.

He obtained significant security just 39 games into his MLB career, and there's no guarantee he'll establish himself as the long-term solution behind the plate, but $7MM isn’t the kind of commitment that sets a franchise back significantly. Like Perez himself, this deal offers a whole lot of upside.


33 Responses to Examining Salvador Perez’s Extension Leave a Reply

  1. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    I really like this for the Royals

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      how could anyone not. the kid could retire tomorrow and the team would only be out $7M

      • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

        Well apparently ole Brian doesn’t like it

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          though i still don’t know how. even nelson would understand this deal

  2. Who else but the royals, would sign a back up catcher for 5 years.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      this is the smartest thing the royals have done in awhile. even if the kid only becomes a backup, they’ll break even on the deal with ease. in the much likelier event that he is somewhere between a below average and an above average everyday catcher, they get all those years of production for next to nothing

      • The smartest thing the royals have done in a while is to maybe come out even.

        That sums up the last 20 years in KC perfectly.

        Geez, go t-bones!  Free parking!

      • The smartest thing the royals have done in a while is to maybe come out even.

        That sums up the last 20 years in KC perfectly.

        Geez, go t-bones!  Free parking!

    • twenty1thirteen 3 years ago

      Anybody that passed 3rd grade English class would.

    • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

      Backup catcher? Right, right. Silly me. I’m sure you’re a better talent evaluator than all the scouts who have raved about his defensive abilities, the pitchers who love his maturity and game-calling ability, and my personal experiences watching him have very good at-bats at the major league level last season. That’s all hearsay, really. I’m sure he’s nothing more than a career backup.

      • Thank you! 

        I’m glad SOMEONE out there besides me can hit the ‘minors’ button on b-ball ref.

    • Jimmy Johnson 3 years ago

      A backup catcher??? Hahahaha. Check back with us in 2 years about that one

  3. This is the Royals long-term solution at catcher if you follow the Royals at all. He is the entrenched starter already and is very proficient defensively behind the plate – has a clocked 1.8 exchange against base stealers (1.9s is deemed good). Any offense he adds the Royals view as extra because of his defensive prowess and quickness.

  4. This is the Royals long-term solution at catcher if you follow the Royals at all. He is the entrenched starter already and is very proficient defensively behind the plate – has a clocked 1.8 exchange against base stealers (1.9s is deemed good). Any offense he adds the Royals view as extra because of his defensive prowess and quickness.

  5. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    Jeez. Future Royals lineup:

    C: Perez
    1B: Hosmer
    2B: Giavotella
    3B: Moustakas
    SS: Escobar
    LF: Gordon
    CF: Starling
    RF: Myers
    DH: Butler

    I died a little inside

    • Colon is in there too.

      • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

        Yep. I just copied down Baseball America’s projected 2015 lineup

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          While their lineup projection is kinda fun now it is anything but accurate.  If the royals come close to competing you can bet they ship out some prospects for one piece, or sign a big free agent. 

          Could be a good lineup if they all pan out, especially in the AL Central, the best division for them. 

  6. grantastica 3 years ago

    I think the future Royals lineup is more like this:

      C: Perez1B: Hosmer2B: Colon3B: Cuthbert
    SS: EscobarLF: MoustakasCF: StarlingRF: MyersDH: Butler

  7. Wes Whitenack 3 years ago

    Any of these really early extensions with several teams options will most certainly benefit the team, especially a smaller market team like the Royals. Great deal.

  8. Wes Whitenack 3 years ago

    Any of these really early extensions with several teams options will most certainly benefit the team, especially a smaller market team like the Royals. Great deal.

  9. Lastings 3 years ago

    I just have a bad feeling that in a week we are going to find out that this guy’s name is actually something like Todd Gack and he’s really 28…

  10. Matt Moore 3 years ago

    They will probly end up trading Butler or one of the prospects for a pitcher. Could Butler, Moustakas and another prospect get a ace like King Felix?

  11. Matt Moore 3 years ago

    They will probly end up trading Butler or one of the prospects for a pitcher. Could Butler, Moustakas and another prospect get a ace like King Felix?

  12. I just realised, the only reason they could pay this much for Salvador ‘the franchise’ Perez, is that they’re finally out from under Kendall’s contract.

  13. Otis26 3 years ago

    It’s going to be amusing to see the posts about the Royals when they’re competing for the Division title in 2013. So many people are going to have to change their forum names in order to be able to say “I told you so!”

  14. My only criticism of this otherwise excellent analysis is that it compares what Perez will make to what other catchers made over “the same portions of their careers”, but this piece makes no attempt to project what the 2012 equivalent of those contracts would be.

    It bodes well for the Royals that Perez won’t even have to produce as Barajas or Buck did in their first five years in order for this to be a “profitable” contract.

    • JackOfDiamonds 3 years ago

      If Perez does somehow break out as an All-Star this deal would be considered robbery.

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