It’s time for MLB’s weekly All-Star voting update and on the American League side the Royals continue to dominate.
Kansas City currently has the top vote-getter at seven spots:
Catcher – Salvador Perez
First base – Eric Hosmer
Third base – Mike Moustakas
Shortstop – Alcides Escobar
Outfield – Alex Gordon
Outfield – Lorenzo Cain
Designated Hitter – Kendrys Morales
Second base and the third outfield spot are the only positions where the Royals don’t have the voting leader and even then Omar Infante and Alex Rios have the next-highest vote totals.
Keeping in mind that there’s still a long way to go in the voting, here are the position-by-position totals:
After playing 39 games as a rookie in 2011, Salvador Perez agreed to a five-year, $7 million extension with the Royals in February of 2012. The contract includes three club options which could have the deal max out at $26.5 million through 2019. Perez has turned out to be arguably the best bargain in the game, but he now has regrets about signing the extension and tells Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports that he hopes to renegotiate the deal.
“I had nothing,” Perez said. “That’s the problem, you know? Where I’m coming from, they’re talking about a million dollars. And I don’t got nobody in that moment to explain to me how it’s going to be or how high it could be. I don’t know what arbitration is. I don’t know free agency. After I signed the deal, I heard from a lot of players, ‘Why you doing that? You don’t know what kind of player you are.’ ”
It sounds like Perez might have had some bad guidance here, but the risk was shared from both sides. That was a big chunk of change to guarantee someone with very little in the way of service time. It’s worth remembering that Perez suffered a torn meniscus in his knee months after signing the extension in 2012. If for some reason he was never the same or failed to meet expectations, he would still have $7 million guaranteed. You can understand where he’s coming from with the way things have played out, but the Royals also gambled on the future here.
Despite all that, it seems that Perez’s concerns aren’t falling on deaf ears. Passan hears from a club source that the Royals plan to talk to Perez “in the near future” about a new deal. He already looks like a long-term building block, so it could make sense to restructure the contract somewhat and tack on a couple more years in order to make him happy. Then again, if no new deal is reached and the Royals exercise all three of the club options as currently constructed, Perez would be eligible for free agency after his age-29 season. There might be a mega-deal waiting for him if he can stay healthy and productive.
Perez, 25, has compiled a .284/.311/.432 batting line over his first 452 games in the majors. He’s already a two-time All-Star and has won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense behind the plate.
Kauffman Stadium is usually covered in red during the now-annual interleague meeting between the Cardinals and Royals. And not much has changed in that regard this weekend. But those Cardinal-red clad fans haven’t had nearly as much to cheer about.
In the series opener Friday night, the American League Central-leading Royals jumped out to a three-run first inning lead against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn and went on to win 5-0. St. Louis struck first on Saturday, but it was the Royals who were on top 3-2 when the game was halted by rain in the bottom of the sixth inning. Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second and Salvador Perez laced an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth. Play did not resume, giving Kansas City its fifth straight win.
The forecast for Sunday’s series finale is rough-looking. If the game is played, it’ll be 23-year-old Michael Wacha trying to pitch the National League Central-leading Cardinals out of a potential sweep against their cross-state rival. 23-year-old Yordano Ventura is on tap for the Royals.
There’s some pretty good baseball being played in Missouri.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
Rangers 15, Yankees 4
Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2
Phillies 8, Nationals 1
Pirates 8, Mets 2
Astros 3, Tigers 2
Twins 4, White Sox 3
Reds 1, Indians 2
Brewers 2, Braves 3 (11 innings)
Athletics 5, Rays 0
Giants 10, Rockies 8 (Game 1)
Angels 3, Red Sox 8
Cardinals 2, Royals 3 (6 innings)
Orioles 0, Marlins 1 (13 innings)
Padres 0, Dodgers 2
Cubs 9, Diamondbacks 6
Giants 3, Rockies 5 (Game 2)