Not many Major League baseball players have to opportunity to sign a long term contract after playing only 51 games above the AA level. That is exactly what Kansas City Royals catcher, Salvador Perez, got the chance to do this past week and he took it and ran with it. The financial security for him and his family played a big part in this deal obviously but it also gave the Royals the chance to lock up a potential all star with an back end heavy contract that will allow the Royals to do many things.
First, it allows them to reward a player that they believe to be able to develop into an all star. With the talents that he has shown at every level in which he has played many are comparing his abilities to a young Yadier Molina. Molina as a young catcher, like Perez, was sought after for his stellar defense but was not a highly touted hitting prospect. Over time he has proven that his development at the Major League level paid off for the St. Louis Cardinals. If Perez pans out like the Royals think he will, this non high risk contract could end up being one of the biggest steals in franchise history. Just after Perez sign his contract with the Royals, Molina signed his own 5 year deal worth, reportedly, up to 75 million dollars. If Perez if able to live up to his potential then the two contracts could be a good comparison in the years to come and show the Royals how much money, say 68 million dollars, they saved by signing an all star leader like Perez early. Signing such a incentive latent contract means that Perez has to perform. If he does not work out in the long run than they only spent seven million dollars. This gives the Royals the security both financially and on the field because they can use this as motivation not only for Perez but for other young players on the ball club.
What this kind of a contract does to the psyche of the young players on the Royals roster is as positive as it gets. While Perez has not played as much as a Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, or Lorenzo Cain, the signing shows that if these young guys step up to the plate do what they are ask and perform, the Royals are ready and willing to reward them for the actions. Though, the deals for these players may not be as club friendly as the Perez deal but if the three previously mentioned players are performing to a high enough standard that they require big money to play then that means this team could be winning some ball games and a lot of them. These are the types of things that if the Royals prove that they are willing to lock players up with long term contracts, the young players will not only want to play in Kansas City but that they will need to play in Kansas City. As evident by the tweet of one pitcher Danny Duffy stated, #burymeaRoyal which took Royals fans, following Duffy on twitter, by storm. Could this be the sign that these young guys not only want to win but that they want to do it in Royal blue? This is a question that can be answered over the next 5 years on the field and in the size of the Glass family checkbook.
The final accomplishment are the fans. The fans are the ones who get to enjoy the play on the field. They are the reason that sports are possible because without fans the money would not be there. So, for Royals fans, a deal like Perez’s could be the sign that they may want to go all in on the Royals regime. But not so fast my friends, this is just one deal and yes it is a good sign for the future but this is a signing of a 21 year old from a small town in Venezuela who would have loved nothing more than to be able to take care of he and his family. His new contract does that and will provide him with a great life after baseball. But, Scott Boras may have something else to say when his clients start hitting the negotiation table with the Royals. He is what I call a bleeder. Although his client may be happy with the team and happy with the contract that has been offered, he is going to bleed every last penny out of an organization until they are seeing the bright light and then he will sign. So as fans yes encouraged is a good thought to have right now with the way things have started in early Spring but will the Royals put their money where their mouth is when the time comes and goodness how much money that will have to be.