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.