In 2012, Salvador Perez signed a five-year, $7 million deal that included three club options which could, at the discretion of the Royals, keep their catcher locked up through 2019 with a maximum value of $26.5 million. There are several players who make more than that in a single season now, of course, so paying that to the reigning World Series MVP who has averaged 143 games played over the past three seasons and who is the unquestioned team leader of the world champions is quite the bargain.
Now, however, Jon Heyman reports that the Royals and Perez “are quietly trying to rework/extend” his deal. The hope is to get something done before the team’s upcoming FanFest.
Already on the Internet I have seen some fans questioning why the Royals should do this with “a deal is a deal” reasoning. And yes, there is no denying that Perez made a deal that, back in 2012, may have seemed appealing. Perez had almost zero service time when he was put under that deal, so he had no leverage at all. If he had suffered a catostrophic injury in the early going, he could’ve finished his career making less than a million bucks. The Royals could’ve paid him $500K a year for three years if the so chose. I wouldn’t have advised Perez to sign that deal if I were his agent at the time and no one forced him to sign it, but it’s understandable.
It’s also understandable, however, for the Royals to acknowledge the reality that a team leader and fan favorite is making orders of magnitude less money than guys who have been nowhere near as important to the team. Are the Royals obligated to do so? No. But it’s admirable of them to appreciate that they got a lot from the guy for almost nothing over the past several years and to re-do his deal in a way that reflects that value and current realities.