Royals Extend Alcides Escobar

The Royals announced that they signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a four-year extension through 2015. The deal with the Wasserman Media Group client includes club options for 2016 and 2017. The contract guarantees Escobar $10.5MM through 2015, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star tweets. The shortstop could earn a total of $21.75MM if the Royals exercise both of their options.

Alcides Escobar - Royals

Escobar was on track for arbitration eligibility following the 2012 season, so the deal buys out his final pre-arbitration season and his three arbitration years. The club options cover Escobar's first two free agent seasons.

Escobar, 25, posted a .254/.290/.343 line in 2011, his debut season with the Royals. He posted similar offensive numbers in his first full season before being traded to Kansas City in the Zack Greinke deal. Considered an above-average defender, Escobar has a career UZR/150 of 5.9 at shortstop. 

As MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows, the Royals have extended pre-arbitration players aggressively under GM Dayton Moore. The club locked Joakim Soria up to a three-year, $8.75MM deal in 2008 and signed Salvador Perez to a five-year, $7MM deal earlier this spring.

Elvis Andrus, who has one more year of service time than Escobar, recently signed an extension valuing his three arbitration seasons at $14.4MM. Escobar's numbers are comparable to where Andrus' were a year ago, so it's fair to say the Royals could save as much as $4.5MM through 2015. There's always risk in locking young players up, since injuries can strike at any time. Perez, for example, will undergo knee surgery just weeks after signing his deal.

Shortstops Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki signed extensions as pre-arbitration eligible players in 2008, but they wouldn't have been comparables for the light-hitting Escobar. 

Photo courtesy Icon SMII.

40 Responses to Royals Extend Alcides Escobar Leave a Reply

  1. rockiesmagicnumber 3 years ago


    I mean, he’s a good gloveman, but he has yet to post over a .650 OPS in a full season. Seems like the kind of freely available talent one wouldn’t want to lock up.

    • SpfldCynic 3 years ago

      Spoken like someone who thinks a box score is everything. Great signing. Future gold glove winner, and he’ll continue to improve as a hitter. 

      • rockiesmagicnumber 3 years ago

        a .650 OPS is a AAA baseball player. He is a strong gloveman, I clearly acknowledged that. I can find you a pile of strong gloveman who couldn’t hit their way out of a paper sack. Escobar would be one of them.

        • Daniel Wesley 3 years ago

          Escobar’s defensive potential is elite, as in possibly the best in all of baseball. If he can get that OPS to .700 he’s a steal.

          • Jeff Weissbuch 3 years ago

            That is a pretty big if though

        • oct27 3 years ago

          You can not find a pile of players who can play the shortstop position at the level of Escobar.  He’s fantastic defensively.  As a Royals fan – any offense is a plus.  And by the way – it’s 10 mil over 4 years…..very, very little in today’s game – and you’re getting GG caliber defense at a premium position.
          Sorry – you’re just wrong on this.

          • I totally agree. I remember when SD dumped an all-field-no hit SS to STL for an elite hitting SS. It was blasted at the time as a bonehead move. Many Gold Gloves and Championships later. No one could second guess the move. Oh, and by the way Ozzie Smith learned to hit the ball a bit too. 

          • Jeff Weissbuch 3 years ago

            Yes including a huge post season home run

    • HobokenMetsFan 3 years ago

      its economics, its a way for the team to keep *potential* arbitration raises in check and allows them to budget better. there’s more to it then this, but its a good financial move (if he pans out)

      • rockiesmagicnumber 3 years ago

        True as that may be, Escobar hasn’t shown anything (other than his strong glove, which again, I’m not denying for a second) yet to warrant said extension.

        I’m totally with you as far as the economic logic behind it; the Rockies have done this with Tulo, Ubaldo, Manny Corpas (whoops), and are regularly trying to get their guys locked up on multi-year deals through arbitration at least.

        I hope for the Royals’ sake that he DOES pan out, but this seems on par with giving Brandon Wood a 4 year extension.

        • HobokenMetsFan 3 years ago

          I hope he pans out for them as well, admittedly I don’t know much about the kid as I don’t get to watch many royals games, but I am a big fan of parity in the league and am looking forward to watching KC hopefully do well soon.

          • rockiesmagicnumber 3 years ago

            He came up with Milwaukee and went to the Royals in the Greinke trade. Definitely potential there, but at age 25, he’s running out of time to still count as the “well he’s young he could still reach his ceiling” kind of guy.

          • HobokenMetsFan 3 years ago

            ahh gotcha, thanks for the background info

          • rockiesmagicnumber 3 years ago

            Oh yeah, my pleasure. The trainwreck that is Yuniesky Betancourt ends up shining some extra light on Alcides Escobar, because the common thought process is “he can’t be worse than Yuniesky Betancourt” so one would look into Escobar to see if that assertion is true. 

            It’s hard not to watch KC’s SS situation over the past 5 years and not shake one’s head. Tony Pena Jr, Yuni, Escobar, Mike Aviles… sigh

          • HobokenMetsFan 3 years ago

            Preaching to the choir here! Not difficult to look at anything Mets over the passed 3 years and shake your head hah

          • Redsox33 3 years ago

            Mike Aviles is a good player nearly as good a SS as Jeter and Reyes.

          • Jason_F 3 years ago

            He has broken the 500 plate appearance barrier in exactly….zero seasons of his career.  The guy can’t even secure a starting gig and is about to lose the SS battle in Boston to a 22 year old.  I have to believe you are trolling at this point.

          • philliesfan136 3 years ago


          • Jeff Weissbuch 3 years ago

            I think not

        • Patrick J. Fleming 3 years ago

          which is exactly why the royals are able to save money…and he made obvious improvements at the plate lat year having about a 2 week multihit streak that raised his average by about 40 points

    • legaryd 3 years ago

      The idea that you don’t sign players to extensions until they “prove it” is asinine in my opinion.  It’s like saying I won’t buy a stock until the price goes up.  The whole idea is you sign budding players before they get pricey.

      If Alcides Escobar goes out and puts up a .750 or .800 OPS, the Royals window for signing Escobar affordably vanishes.

  2. I know shortstop is an incredibly scarce position, but extending someone you can’t expect to even put up a .300 OBP seems kind of stupid. I doubt the money is enough to be too offended by, but it exacerbates the biggest fear with Dayton Moore: That no matter how good he is at bringing amateur talent into the organization, his values in handling the big league roster will always be off kilter. OBP is life.

    • ColonelTom 3 years ago

      The Royals don’t have an elite SS prospect in their system, and very few hit the market (and none of those are within KC’s price range).  They’re paying $1m/$3m/$3m/$3M over the next 4 years, with two options or a $500K buyout.  For a guy who’s worth 1-2 WAR even if his hitting doesn’t improve, that’s worthwhile.  If he can nudge that OBP above .300, it’s a steal.

    • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

      He’s only 25, so it seems too soon to say we know what his offensive production will always be. The numbers don’t lie, but I’ve watched him play in person, and he does things the numbers can’t explain. He’s an excellent defensive SS who improves the mindset of his pitchers, and getting him locked up for a total of about $10M through his age-28 season seems like an incredible deal.

  3. Runtime 3 years ago

    Oh… THAT SS Escobar…

  4. luls, and another royal not named alex gordon is extended…

    • Lastings 3 years ago

       Betancourt is next (fingers crossed)…

    • Otis26 3 years ago

      Seriously? I hope your wife does your finances. Gordon has had ONE really good year out of five and you’re ready to lock him in long-term?

      I’m guessing you were on Hamelin and Berroa’s bandwagon too. You were probably ready to sign KK to a life-long deal as well.

      Let Gordon show that he’s got more than one year in him. Sure…it may cost more to sign him at the end of the year, but given his track record and his past inability to handle slumps, it’s the prudent thing to do.

      We don’t have the payroll of the Yankees, so bad signings cripple us.

    • Jeff Weissbuch 3 years ago

      I am not sure they will extend Gordon. I was hoping it was Gordon when they extended Perez

  5. Compare this contract to the Yunel Escobar contract. Compare A. Escobar’s stats to Y. Escobar’s stats.

    Proceed to laugh.

    • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

      Yunel had more service time and was three years older when he signed his, so it only makes sense that he’s making more. It’s not like either of them are going to turn out to be horrible deals.

  6. Hugo Santana 3 years ago

    So looking at this, what kind of contract would be realistic for Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians? I believe he will be a Free agent after 2013.

  7. Patrick J. Fleming 3 years ago

    45+ million dollar difference for how much more value? 

  8. Very refreshing.  They keep showing that they are willing to lock up their own right now wish is so nice.  Good for the Royals.  They have a major cornerstone up the middle with Perez and potentially cain for some time

  9. He may be very well an elite SS defensively, but if he can’t swing the bat then it doesn’t matter.  John Macdonald was  the best defensive SS in baseball in my opinion (yes I am a Jays fan so I am biased) but the plays he made were incredible with very few errors (should have won the GG when he played the full season)  He was shit offensively and that is why he has been a utility guy who sits on the bench his entire career.  Surely Escobar is better offensively than Macdonald, but regardless, if he can’t hit at average I don’t see him starting on a contending team.  Time will tell, but it is a cheap signing so it may very well be worth it.

  10. An OBP under .300 keeps someone from ever being a big asset.

  11. Patrick J. Fleming 3 years ago

    mark trumbo had an obp under 300 was he valueless last year?  He has homeruns esky has defens

  12. His doubles went from 14 to 21, his stolen bases went from 10 to 26, and his defense is viewed as plus, he was already considered a 2 WAR player last year, which is starter level. If his offense can improve and his glove remains plus, they get cost certainty and those free agent options could be nice, a potential 3 WAR player for 5-6 million a year, probably over 12 milion a year on the free agent market.

  13. Mark Trumbo certainly wasn’t worth a seven figure salary last year.

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