Update: The Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton reports that Perez is guaranteed $7 million through 2016. The deal could be worth as much as $26.75 million over eight years.
The Royals locked up the youngest of their young major leaguers on Monday, signing 21-year-old catcher Salvador Perez to a five-year contract with club options through 2019.
Perez debuted in the majors last August and hit .331/.361/.473 with three homers and 21 RBI in 148 at-bats. The new arrival wouldn’t have been eligible for arbitration until after 2014 or free agency until after 2017.
Given the way young catchers tend to stall offensively, it’s a bit risky for the Royals to go long-term here. Still, the deal is almost sure to be cheap enough to make the upside worth it. Besides, they’re finally out from under that Angel Berroa contract now (right?). They can afford to splurge.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.