Royals sign 21-year-old Salvador Perez to five-year deal

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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.

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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.