Salvador Perez hopes to renegotiate his bargain contract with the Royals

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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.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.