For a season that started on such a low note, Salvador Perez had a really good year.
After missing the first month because of a knee injury suffered while carrying luggage, Perez tied his career high with 27 home runs, made his sixth All-Star Game and won a fifth Gold Glove award.
Perez, 28, just finished his eighth season with the Royals and is firmly entrenched as the biggest fan favorite. Perez’s base salary is $10 million next season and $13 million in both 2021 and 2022.
Despite all of that, former Mets general manager Steve Phillips believes the Royals should deal Perez. Phillips made the case Thursday while speaking on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM Radio.
“Kansas City’s got no chance of winning again before Salvador Perez is over the hill. Why don’t they trade him right now?” Phillips said. “He’s got a reasonable enough contract. Trade him and get something for him. Leadership for rebuilding is great. But go get a journeyman guy who is a good leader, not a good catcher that could help a playoff contending team that could bring back two or three impactful prospects for you.
“So if I’m Kansas City, I’m moving Salvador Perez, but it doesn’t even sound like it’s a consideration for them at all because if so, I think they would have put him out there and we would have seen his name come up already...”
There are some good catchers on the free-agent market, including Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos and Kurt Suzuki. Phillips said Perez is better than all of them.
“Now, teams may look at it and go, ‘yeah, you know what, we like him better, but we don’t want to give up two or three big prospects for him when we can sign somebody who we think will be good enough for us,’” Phillips said. “Maybe that’s the case, but there’s a window where they need to consider this, and I’m worried that it may be closing on them.”
Here is the clip: