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The Other Side of the Argument on Salvador Perez

OK, I'll say it:

It was 158 PAs. He was great, but it was 158 PAs. How would be reacting if, say, the White Sox made this deal?

I'm not against the Salvador Perez contract, don't get me wrong. The money totals are so low and the Royals have so much leverage and flexibility with those three final years of team options that it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario in which this is a bad contract. Moreover, Perez was essentially already under a six year contract. As Jeff pointed out today, the Royals more or less set the terms for his arb years super early here and tacked on some option years.

The only worst case scenario here, the only way the Royals do lose a little bit in this deal is if Perez isn't ready to be a Major Leaguer in 2012. For all the talk about flexibility, the Royals lose their ability -- in practice if not in the legal letter of the contract -- to demote Perez over the next few years and further delay his free agency. Perhaps it is immaterial. Should that happen, he's suddenly become a very expensive minor league catcher, one who is already on an accelerating pay scale with a defined end in sight.

Perez is likely to be the Royals' primary catcher for the foreseeable future. That was true on Sunday and that is true today.

In 158 PAs Perez hit .331/.361/.473. Earlier in the year, in 309 PAs in AA, he hit .283/.329/.427. At Omaha, where Perez played for just 12 games (49 PAs) he hit .333/.347/.500. There's been quite a lot of discussion about Perez's offensive game, but I'm hesitant know what to do with those comparisons. Is Perez a star in waiting or a nice everyday player or still a total unknown?

Of course, it is well established that he is luminously present.