The Kansas City Royals made an announcement at 5:30 pm local time this evening, announcing they had agreed to a long-term contract with 21-year old starting catcher Salvador Perez. The deal is for five years guaranteed, with three years after that being the club's option.
Perez, who signed with the Royals as an international free agent at the age of 16 in 2006, has 39 games under his belt at the major league level in which he hit .339/.361/.473 with three home runs and 21 RBI. While this may not be on par with what a long-term deal would be with Eric Hosmer, this is a great signing for Kansas City.
Backstop is a premium position in the major leagues, and Perez is a star in the making at the position. He is well above average defensively and starting to develop power in the batters box as well.
The terms $7 million over five years are brilliant for Kansas City fans. If you look over the landscape of catchers in the major leagues, solid, but not superstar catchers include players like Geovany Soto, John Buck, and Carlos Ruiz. Of the group, Soto will make the least amount of money in 2012, and he will still be earning $4.3 million.
Going even further, the Royals committed $11,340,000 to starting catchers over the last five season ($2.25 and $3.75 to Jason Kendall in 2010 and '11, $2.70 million to Miguel Olivo in '09, $2.2 million to John Buck in '08 and $440,000 to Buck in '07)
This gives Kansas City a long-term catcher. The Royals have not had true stability at catcher since the Mike Macfarlane era. He'll be someone who is able to communicate easier with Latin pitchers and give the Royals a signal caller to help develop young pitchers, because he is so good defensively.
It's a good day for Royals fans and even more reason to be excited about the future.