The Royals control Salvador Perez through 2019, the final option season of a contract he signed before the 2012 season. As salaries escalate around the league, Kansas City owes Perez $18.5 million through these next five seasons, if they choose to pick up their three team options on him. He is only guaranteed a total of $7 million through 2016.
It is the sort of contract that invokes envy in rival executives. There is little impetus for the Royals to restructure such a deal, but CBS Sports reported Friday the Royals are open to working out another extension with Perez in order to insure the two-time All Star spends his career as a Royal.
General manager Dayton Moore praised Perez, but declined to discuss the team’s thought process about his future.
“I’m not going to comment on anything like that,” Moore said in a telephone interview before the Royals faced the Angels. “That’s pointless to talk about it. We’re starting our season, and that’s just not anything I would discuss.”
He added, “We’re focused on the making sure we’re prepared for the Angels. Tonight, and for the rest of the season. That’s what we’re focused on.”
As per club policy, the Royals do not discuss contracts in public. Perez also lacked interest in this topic. He did reiterate his desire to remain a Royal.
“I want to be here,” Perez said. “I’ve got two more years, and then I’ve got three options more. So we’re going to see what happens.”
Perez has already taken some steps to solidify his future. He switched agencies last summer, ditching Gustavo Vazquez for Rick Thurman of Beverley Hills Sports Council. He signed his initial contract when he had played only 39 games in the major leagues.
“Where we’re coming from, it’s hard,” Perez said last summer. “It’s hard because we know about money, but we don’t have good houses in Venezuela. My mom didn’t have a really good job.
“When they give you an opportunity, for your life, to be safe, to try to move here, I think you look around at what you had before, and say you have to do it.”
Perez spoke those words in July, a day before he started for the American League in the All-Star Game. He has become one of the game’s premier players, the rare two-way talent capable of handling a pitching staff and powering an offense.
In the wake of the team’s success in October, Perez experienced some ancillary benefits. He posed with closer Greg Holland for the cover of Sports Illustrated. He shot a commercial for Pepsi.
In 2020, when Perez could finally hit the open market, he would be a few months shy of his 30th birthday. So it is reasonable for the Royals to show interest in retaining him past that date. The more difficult concept is discerning why the club would pursue such a route at this time.
There are several other players far closer to free agency. Alex Gordon will hit the open market after this season. Greg Holland has one year left in arbitration. Both Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer can become free agents in 2018. So while Perez plays a significant role in the team’s future, his contract status may not occupy a significant role in their immediate planning.
To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.