According to their official Twitter account, the Royals have agreed to extend 21 year old catcher Salvador Perez through the 2019 season. The deal guarantees him $7 million over the life of the contract, but he could earn as much as $26.75 million if he maxes out all of the deal’s incentives and the Royals pick up all three of their options.
This definitely was a shock to me, as I’m sure it was to the rest of you. I was expecting the Royals to extend one or both of Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer. Both deserving, and both had shown they can produce over a full big league season. So, needless to say, this was a surprise. Pleasant, yet unexpected.
In 39 games with the Royals last season, Perez produced an impressive slash line of .331/.361/.473 while flashing a little bit of pop (8 2B, 3 HR, 21 RBI). But it’s Perez’s defensive ability that brought him to the bigs last season, and it might be the main reason he got this extension.
In 5 minor league seasons, Perez has caught an astonishing 42% of would be base stealers. Those numbers didn’t show up to that degree last season in KC (21% CS). But his quick catch-and-release ability can not be taken for granted. Once he gets a complete handle on the big leagues, he’ll be one of the most feared defensive catchers in all of baseball. And if his offense sticks around like it has in the minors (.285/.328/.397), think Sandy Alomar, Jr.