The Royals locked up catcher Salvador Perez to a long-term deal after just 39 games in the big leagues, by signing him to a five-year deal with three club options back in 2012. The deal guaranteed him just $7 million, but allowed him to earn up to $36.75 million overall if he hit his incentives and has his options picked up. Perez would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time this year, which would have paid him at least $5 million, but instead he will earn just over $2 million in salary next season.
There have been rumors the Royals might be willing to negotiate an extension to compensate Salvador Perez. Jon Heyman writes that the Royals have opened up contract extension talks with Perez.
The Royals have also opened extension talks Perez, and both sides would like to do something equitable that makes Perez a Royal for life. His first deal, which guaranteed $7 million over five years, has turned out to be one of the most team friendly deals in baseball history, especially since it includes multiple team options. The Perez camp has mentioned deals for stars such as Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria and Ryan Braun as comps in the early going for Perez, but Kansas City considers those deals to be "bad deals."
Perez is a three-time All-Star and Gold Glove Winner, and was named the 2015 World Series MVP. He is just 25 years old, but he has seen his OPS+ drop in each of his five seasons. He hit a career-high 21 home runs last year, but saw his on-base percentage drop to a career-low .280. The Royals already have club control over Perez through the 2019 season. Any extension beyond that would take Perez into his 30s.
There would be concern that all the years of catching will catch up to Perez and he will eventually have to move to another position. Perez's bat may not be valuable at first base or designated hitter. On the other hand, Perez may have the durability to stay behind the plate, and having a catcher of his caliber is quite valuable. In just over four seasons, Sal has already accumulated 14.1 rWAR.
Also in the report, Heyman reports that the Royals and Alex Gordon face a "sizable gap" in talks, with Gordon looking for closer to $20 million per year. He also reports the Royals are interested in a number of pitchers, including Scott Kazmir, Yovani Gallardo, and Wei-Yin Chen.
A deal like the Tulowitzki or Longoria deal wouldn't make sense for a hitter who is far from elite like Salvador Perez, but a more reasonable long-term extension may work if the Royals feel he can stay behind the plate.