In case you missed it, on Sunday the Kansas City Star's Andy McCullough brought us this article on the importance of a healthy Salvador Perez. There is no doubt that Salvy is one of the most important pieces to this Royals team if not the most important. We are entering Year 8 of the Process and Perez represents the crown jewel of the scouting and development system that Dayton Moore has constructed.
In just 253 professional games, Perez has accumulated 7.5 fWAR, which is easily more than any other hitter developed during the Dayton Moore regime. Perez has compiled this mark at quite the discount for Kansas City. In a time when amateur players are signing for millions of dollars, Perez signed for just $65,000.
Obviously, for Perez to develop into any sort of Major League contributor he would have proved to be an excellent investment, but Dayton Moore swooped in and signed him to a long term deal after just 39 professional games. The deal guaranteed Perez $7 million over the first five years of the deal and included three team options would could take the value all the way up to $21.75.
The deal was a masterstroke by Moore and will most likely be remembered as the best move of his tenure. The contract not only guaranteed a relatively small amount of money*, but also bought the Royals two additional years of team control. Making the deal even better has been the fact that the final three years of the contract are team options.
*Consider this, Eric Hosmer's signing bonus was $6 million. the Royals promised Perez $7 million and were able to secure 8 seasons of cost control for the catcher.
There was a stretch when Dayton Moore did a nice job of locking up several guys. Billy Butler signed a four year deal with a team option, when he was reaching arbitration for the first time. Alcides Escobar signed a four year deal with two team options when he was reaching arbitration. Alex Gordon signed a four year deal with an option when he was just a season from Free Agency.
Entering this offseason I was hopeful that the Royals could do the same for some of their current assets. I also knew that there weren't a ton of logical fits to be extension. Eric Hosmer would be a fantastic player to lock up long term, but he is a Boras client that long dreamed of playing for the Yankees. Danny Duffy, hasn't shown enough control/poise/durability to warrant a guaranteed rotation spot let along a long term contract. Mike Moustakas hit like crap last season. Lorenzo Cain is too injury prone for an extension. This only leaves a few options.
James Shields would have been awesome to extend, but given the current pitching market and the fact that he is now just a year from free agency, it seems that the Royals have missed their chance (if it ever existed). It also isn't a given that a Shields extension would even be worth it.
Greg Holland has been discussed at length on this blog over the past week. He's a guy who is probably the best best to be extended prior to 2014. Of course, in terms of players extended he's a guy that probably wouldn't create a ton of excitement. At the same time if the Royals can find value in a Greg Holland extension then they should absolutely jump at the opportunity.
The final player who I will suggest is Norichika Aoki. If you've frequented this blog over the last couple of months you know how big of an Aoki fan that I am. I think he is going to be an excellent fit for Kauffman Stadium and I expect him to be wroth 2.5 WAR or more in 2014. Aoki is only signed through this season, but I would be curious as to what he might ask for in the way of an extension.
The Royals have done a nice job in putting talent together in Kansas City. Hopefully, the Royals can keep this group together long enough to put the pieces in place around them to win big. At the very least we know that we'll have a top notch catcher putting on the mask for us day in and day out for the next six seasons.
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