Salvador Perez Rumors

Salvador Perez Changes Agents

Royals catcher Salvador Perez has changed agents from SPS Sports Group to Rick Thurman of Beverly Hills Sports Council, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.

Perez is in the midst of a very long and team-friendly extension signed unusually early in his career. He’s making $1.5MM in 2014 and his under Royals control through 2019, with team options the last three years of just $3.75MM, $5MM and $6MM for the last three seasons.

Royals, Mets Discussed R.A. Dickey

The Royals have talked to the Mets about R.A. Dickey as they continue to search for a top-of-the-rotation starter, Jon Heyman of reports. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reported this week that the Royals have had discussions about trading Wil Myers for Jon Lester or James Shields.

The Royals aren’t looking to trade Myers and have no interest in moving Salvador Perez, Heyman writes. Alex Gordon and Billy Butler are close to untouchable and the Royals aren’t inclined to trading Alcides Escobar, either. Instead, the Royals would prefer to send the Mets younger prospects in a deal for Dickey. 

If the Royals were to acquire Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young winner, he’d join Jeremy Guthrie, Ervin Santana and others in Kansas City.

"Our rotation is going to better, but we're still looking for the opportunity to improve on what we've done,'' Royals GM Dayton Moore told Heyman.

The Royals seem interested in trading Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen. Doing so might free up salary for Moore, who now has up to $6MM to spend, according to Heyman.

The Mets have explored the possibility of a contract extension with Dickey, who will earn $5MM in 2013 before hitting free agency. If they trade the knuckleballer, they’d prefer a catcher and outfield help.

Passan’s Latest: Myers, Fowler, Asdrubal, McCarthy

The Royals have been shopping top prospect Wil Myers but only in exchange for starting pitching, reports Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan.  Earlier this week, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reported that Kansas City was known to be at least listening to offers for Myers and top position players like Alex Gordon, Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer.  The only untouchable Royals appear to be Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez due to their team-friendly contracts — "executives consider [Perez's deal] the best in the game," Passan writes.

The Royals have discussed trades with the Rays, Mariners, Diamondbacks and Athletics, Passan reports.  While Myers would be of interest to any team, he is of particular value to low-payroll teams like the Rays and A's given that Gordon and Butler have large contracts and Moustakas/Hosmer are Scott Boras clients.

Here are some more items from Passan…

  • The Rockies' asking price for Dexter Fowler is "absurd," one rival executive tells Passan.  It appears to be a buyers' market for center fielders right now, though another executive warns that "it will shake out" as the offseason progresses.
  • The Indians are shopping Asdrubal Cabrera, though "not at Black Friday prices," an executive says.  Cabrera is one of a few shortstops on the trade market, along with the Astros' Jed Lowrie and the Marlins' Yunel Escobar.
  • Teams are more worried about Brandon McCarthy's history of arm injuries than with his season-ending brain surgery.  If McCarthy's medicals are clear, however, a team executive thinks the right-hander will get a multiyear contract.
  • Anibal Sanchez's demands for a six-year, $90MM contract are "crazy, and he's probably going to get it," an executive tells Passan.

Catcher Extension Notes: Perez, Molina, Ruiz

The 2013 class of free agent catchers is taking shape. Yadier Molina and the Cardinals signed a five-year, $75MM extension this week, but Miguel Montero and Russell Martin have tabled extension talks for now and Mike Napoli expects to test free agency. Here are the latest notes on catcher extensions in MLB…

  • One agent joked to Jon Heyman of that Royals GM Dayton Moore “must have been wearing a ski mask” to convince Salvador Perez to sign a five-year, $7MM extension (Twitter link). I examined the extension earlier in the week, explaining what Perez will have to do for the Royals to break even.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests the Diamondbacks and Braves might be ticked off by Molina's extension. The deal figures to shift the market for catchers and it may now cost more to retain the likes of Montero and Brian McCann. Rosenthal says the Cardinals' deal with Molina is an overpay, but an understandable one given the value of Molina's defense. 
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News explains that the Molina deal isn't a fair point of reference for Carlos Ruiz. Though Ruiz and Molina have posted similar offensive numbers in recent years, the Phillies’ catcher won't hit free agency until he's entering his age-35 season and allowed stolen bases with much greater frequency than Molina in 2011.

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.

Royals To Extend Salvador Perez

The Royals announced that they signed catcher Salvador Perez to a five-year contract that includes three club options. Perez will earn a guaranteed $7MM over the course of the five-year contract, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (Twitter links). The Morgan Advisory Group client could earn as much as $26.75MM if he maxes out his incentives and the Royals pick up all three options. Dutton has the yearly breakdown (Twitter links).

The deal buys out Perez's three pre-arbitration seasons and two of his seasons of arbitration eligibility. The Royals have options for his final season of arbitration eligibility and for his first two free agent seasons.

Perez debuted with the Royals last year, appearing in 39 games. The 21-year-old posted a .331/.361/.473 line in 158 plate appearances, adding 13 extra base hits. Before getting called up to Kansas City, Perez posted a .290/.331/.437 line in the upper minors and prevented 46% of stolen base attempts against him.

Perez joins Matt Moore and Evan Longoria, who also signed extensions before notching their first full year of MLB service time. The two Rays players also signed deals that include three club options. There's not much recent precedent for extensions involving pre-arbitration eligible catchers, as MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows. 

GM Dayton Moore locked Joakim Soria up before the closer had two years of service time in a similarly motivated extension. The Royals obtained three club options on that deal as well.