6:21PM: Tommy John surgery has indeed been recommended for Perez, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets. Perez is expected to undergo the surgery next week. He first may meet Dr. ElAttrache for final confirmation, as Royals manager Ned Yost and trainer Nick Kenney told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (Twitter links) and other reporters that Perez will head to Los Angeles for the examination on Wednesday. Yost and Kenney both stopped short of referring to Perez’s injury as any sort of a tear, instead describing it simply as ligament damage. Perez was shut down for four weeks earlier this offseason, Yost and Kenny said, after the catcher experienced a flexor strain during offseason training.
1:36PM: Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been diagnosed with damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the team announced. Perez is headed for a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
The ultimate prognosis is not yet known, clearly, but the signs are not promising. In the best case scenario, the workhorse backstop is likely to miss a decent stretch for rest and rehab. If the ligament is damaged enough to require surgery, his 2019 season could be at risk.
Beyond Perez, the Royals have rather slim pickings behind the dish. Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria are the only other two backstops on the 40-man roster — and the only two that have ever seen MLB action. In what could be a sign that the Royals are preparing for the worst with Perez’s diagnosis, the team has already been in touch with veteran free agent Martin Maldonado, as per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter).
Kansas City will presumably consider all free agent options both now and perhaps closer to the end of Spring Training, when more catchers will be released from (or opt out of) their minor league contracts if they don’t make their current rosters. The Royals will surely also consider the trade market. The Red Sox stand out as the most obvious potential trade partner in this regard, as Boston is known to be looking to move one of Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon, or Blake Swihart.
If the Royals go out in search of another option, they’ll likely focus on a short-term fix. Perez, 28, is due to earn $10MM this season under the second extension he signed with the K.C. club. That deal also promises him $13MM annually in the following two campaigns.
One of the few holdovers remaining from the Royals’ 2015 World Series team, Perez is a long-time fixture of the franchise, and was being counted on to continue being a clubhouse mentor to a younger K.C. roster as the team goes through another rebuild phase. Perez hasn’t had an OBP over .300 since 2013 and his framing numbers took a big hit last season (as per both StatCorner and Baseball Prospectus), though he is still considered an above-average defender and provides some extra pop from the catcher’s position. Perez has hit 97 homers over the last four seasons, more than any other catcher in baseball and a number topped by only 33 players in total.
Woof. That sucks for KC
Perez out?? That is a huge blow to the Royals!! Best catcher in the American League.
Does this put them back in the market for Harper?
What r u talking about
He was trying to be funny, but failed miserably.
No….but Realmuto is an option.
Heard he used to be a catcher, so you never know.
Wil Myers started as catcher in the royals system
What’s with only giving us a option to “like” the comment?
Is that really a problem to you? Leave your comment and go on about your day already, my goodness, never have I seen the comment boards so full of entitled commentators.
You all complain about downvotes, at times even making comments ASKING for downvotes, now it’s an issue you can’t downvote.. pathetic really.
You’re really taunting me there… I want to downvote so bad
Downvote. See it works this way too.
Calm down SayfromMaclay, it’s not that serious. Take a Xanax.
Would rather have the option to omit a given commentator from my display.
No Salvy No!!!!
Sad to see this. Get well soon Salvy.
Not good at all.
Such a shame…one of my favorite catchers in MLB. Perhaps he can avoid surgery and spend time as a DH while his ligament heals. If this requires TJ surgery and he misses all of 2019, it will pretty much guarantee a 90+ loss season for KC.
A barely .700 ops in the DH? Ouch.
That guaranteed 90+ loss season for KC was happening even if Salvy had a 5 WAR season.
*100+ loss season
I would imagine that a TJ surgery would require a recovery, for a catcher, somewhere in between the traditional recoveries of a pitcher and a position player.
It was an entire season for Christian Vazquez and his rifle arm also didn’t return right away either, it took a bit of time after that for full strength.
I didn’t mean to imply that he could be back this season if he has TJ surgery. I’m talking about the 8-10 months or 14-16 months that seemingly are used as timelines for position players and pitchers, respectively.
Understand. Was just letting everyone know some kind of table for how long another good armed catcher too to fully recover. it took awhile. C-Vaz’s arm just wasn’t the same after he 1st returned. I’d say it was a good year and a half before he was throwing like he did pre surgery.
Yessir. Tony Womack’s arm never really returned to its full strength.
If surgery is needed it “could” jeopardize his season???Huh? Does Jeff know about some kind of miracle rehab program that would allow a catcher to return and play this year after TJ surgery in March?
he can do what Ohtani did. just br a DH. even with a bad elbow his bat is still valuable
His bat was valuable out of a catcher, but even in his best years, it was not a DH bat and his recent years certainly weren’t valuable enough to be a DH.
OBP isn’t the end-all stat for a DH.
Even to dh it looks like Ohtani’s time line is going to be in the vicinity of 6-7 months from the surgery. Which would put Perez in September/October, essentially at the end of the season.
I was going to comment on the same thing. What a dumb statement by Todd. Perez would obviously miss the entire season if he has surgery – not just jeopardize. There’s not a chance in hell otherwise for pitcher, catcher or other.
Aww this sucks. Hoping for positive news. Much respect from San Francisco.
90 plus losses? Try a 110 losses.
Matt Wieters and Jeff Gyrko for Whit Merrifield.
Is Jeff a brother of Jedd’s that I am unfamiliar with? Plus where would Whit play, right field maybe. But does kinda suck for Wieters, but he does have an opt out clause on March 22.
Agreed, Wieters will keep his bags packed, but I think dirty birds will keep him in which case Pena for a A-ball player?
Whit for a utility guy and a catcher we could have signed to a minor league contract? No, thank you. We’ll pass
Ouch. Looks like a perfect fit for Maldonado. Royals, better get him signed while he’s still available.
Maybe Cubs could get an overpay for Victor Caratini
When you are rebuilding, have no expectation of contending, you don’t panic and overpay in a trade. Unless it just works out that way.
Bruh… I’m a Cubs fan, and an overpay for Caratini would include a return of something like “not less than two tacos” or “some potato chips and a few lightly used napkins.” Let’s hang on to Caratini, because there’s no chance of getting a prospect good enough to ever play in the major leagues for him.
Caratini can hit some, an overpay would be $500,000 slot in international signing bonus money
Sign Evan Gattis. Can’t catch full time but can replace some pop
Gattis has proven to be a much below average catcher and his hitting consists of home runs, with his number of hits equaling his number of strikeouts. Meibyrs Viloria probably taking over catching duties before mid season. No reason to spend on free agent, just let the youngsters play.
That’s a shame right before the season
Rotten luck for a good dude and a highly respected competitor.
They can have Sandy Leon for an arm that works probably
Give them Vasquez instead, probably get something better back
That’s what I was thinking
The Ghost of Bobby Bonilla
Oof, man oh man did things go south in a hurry in Kansas City. With no real prospect of getting better anytime soon either.
They really need to tear it all down to the studs and trade anything and everything with any value in order to jump start that minor league system. Duffy, Soler, Merrifield, Junis, find out what A-ball guys you can get with super high ceilings and deal them all.
What is it with all these ulnar nerve injuries to position players? Sure seems to be happening more than I used to remember.
I think it’s a combination of things. First, players today don’t, as in general, play catch as much. Usually they concentrate more on the offensive side, because that’s where the big money is. Second, position players weren’t as scrutinized for their elbow/shoulder health as much as they are now. Third, players knew back in the day that they were more easily replaced and hid injuries more often.
Remember, it used to be 1 or maybe 2 guys that made up a team’s medical staff and many of them weren’t exactly MDs. Also, teams weren’t equipped with much more than a few whirlpool tubs. Now it’s mostly state of the art.
I’d say, ‘there goes the Royals season’. Then again, their season was already a bust .
Maybe the White Sox can send them a veteran catcher so the Sox can let the kids play.
Stevie E. B.
Swihart for Boxberger makes sense…if KC includes Herrara we will throw in Rusney for free…
They can’t trade boxberger, he just signed
Really? A player who is recently signed cannot be traded?
A player signed as a free agent can be traded but he can also choose to become a free agent if he is traded. A little-known provision in the CBA, But, yes, Boxberger could be traded but could also opt out of his contract.
Herrara who? The Royals have nobody with that name. Also, you cant trade guys you sign until June. You are wrong on a lot of levels here, bud.
Thanks. I didn’t know.
Martin Maldonado will sign with KC by tonight
Wieters going there for that full time gig
He just signed. Won’t be traded.
Hate seeing that!
Hope he recovers quickly and comes back to full strength.
I love watching him play, even though he was our rival but damn he’s fun
I hate seeing this for anyone!! Martin Maldonado is going to be a Royal I bet!!
Matt Weiters picked the wrong Missouri team. Unfortunate for their organization to lose the leader
hes not a starting catcher anymore, think he will do fine in STL in a limited role. if of course he makes the major league roster
I’m not a big fan of Perez, but I hate seeing any players get hurt and have to sit out the season.
This really sucks. Have to think Salvy this pushes the timeline on the inevitable switch to 1B/DH.
Salvy’s bat will not play as a full-time 1B or DH. Get him fixed up to catch again. His play has been way more valuable than what he has been paid, so KC should not panic. Royals have several good catching prospects. Give one of them the ABs.
Yeah, Perez is an elite defensive catcher, but he can’t hit. His value lies behind the plate.
If Martin Maldonado is still available, time for Royals to write a check for maybe two million.
As a fan of a division rival, I feel so bad for the guy. Perez has been a top AL catcher for years and is one of the only really good players on KC anymore, and this is what he gets. Hope he can recover next year and play just as well as he has the last several years.
KC is loaded with young catchers…but they’re a couple years away. Gallagher is a good defensive catcher and hits a little. Maldonado really hasn’t hit much lately. I say let Gallagher and Viloria have it for a couple months. There will still be catchers on the market if they can’t handle it.
But knowing Moore he’ll sign a has-been and send down a young player…even in a lost season.
With all of these arm and shoulder problems around all of Spring Training this year, it sounds like those players just set around and did nothing at all during the off season to keep their arm strength and flexibility. A good example is Martinez of the Cardinals. Never dealt seriously with his off season strengthening program. He could very well lose this whole season. The head case he is, he’s flushing a possibility of his whole career as a starter.
So, I’m just learning that Maldonado is still unsigned. He’s a great catcher so KC would do well by picking him up.
Let’s see what Gallagher has. It’s an opportunity to see if a Royals prospect can be a regular big leaguer. KC wasn’t going to have a good year anyway but losing Salvy is a tough blow.
Perez is good, but he’ll never even approach greatness if he doesn’t learn the difference between a strike and a ball. He swings at everything. He’s got good hitting skills, so when he swings the bat that much he’s bound to come up with some big hits, and of course he gets loads of attention for it. For every hit he comes up with, however, there are 5 outs that he basically gives away because he’s hitting balls he can’t do anything with, and nobody ever pays attention to that. Perez is overrated, simply because he never grew out of the little league instinct of wanting to get a hit every time up instead of wanting to reach base every time up. If the Royals replace him with someone who can get on base, they’ll be better off without Perez.
KCs GM has stated he won’t rebuild, even only taking MLB ready prospects instead of higher ceiling A-ball type at the deadline last year, so expect a vet in camp soon to try and avoid 100 losses.
Sal should’ve been moved after 2016; Whit should be moved now.
Going to be a long year in KC.