More on Perez, Hosmer, Moustakas and the Royals' future
The Kansas City Star
SURPRISE, Az. — Mike Moustakas avoided the question. He was polite, respectful, understanding, all the good things you’d want, but he also wanted nothing to do with being asked whether he’s any more open to signing long-term after Sal Perez agreed to a deal that could keep him in Kansas City for the next eight years.
“You know me,” Moustakas said. “I don’t know anything about that kind of stuff. I just want to go out and play baseball.”
Eric Hosmer’s answers — I ended up asking him the question three times, just to make sure — were decidedly different.
And maybe they will be ultimately irrelevant, but for now, it sure makes for an interesting development in this morning’s column^.
^ For whatever it’s worth, I still believe Hosmer signing long-term in Kansas City is very much a longshot. But it is apparently less of a longshot than it was a week ago, and it’s worth remembering that Hosmer took a different path in his answer than Moustakas.
Speaking of Perez’s contract, I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that a Royals executive took issue with a previous Tweet saying Dayton Moore should’ve worn a mask and gun when he signed the Perez contract.
The Royals, like all professional teams, are sensitive about these types of things. I had a half-hour debate with a Chiefs executive, for instance, when I repeated a thought I’d heard about Jamaal Charles needing to fire his agent after signing his extension^.
^ Turned out to be a good thing for Charles, of course, after he tore his knee last year.
Anyway, the Royals executive did not change my mind about this. I’m still not sure what other way there is to look at this. The Royals got a potential star for nobody money, and with precious little risk. All they’re obligated for is $7 million over five years, with the bonus of being able to keep him three more if he’s worth it — the Royals bought themselves a potential star catcher through his age-29 season for the baseball equivalent of peanuts.
But, the exec did bring up a few things I didn’t think enough about, which I’ll share in generalities here:
^ Perez gets $3.25 million the next three seasons instead of less than $2 million, which he would’ve been paid under baseball’s salary structure for players with zero to three years service time. There is an emotional benefit here for Perez for being paid up front, but structuring the deal this way also increases what baseball people call the contract’s present day value.
^ If you take the extra $1.5 million or so that Perez gets the first three years and shift it to the arbitration years, you’re looking at $5.25 million for those seasons, which is much better.
^ The list of catchers who’ve made more than $7 million over their first five years is shorter than you’d think. Brian McCann, Russell Martin, Joe Mauer, Geovany Soto, perhaps a few others. Now, Matt Wieters and Buster Posey are among those in line to make a lot of money, but it is a fair point.
The bottom line for Perez is he liked the financial security — his family is set, assuming he takes care of his money — and is comfortable being in Kansas City. That’s a good thing.
But the benefit for the Royals is so much greater — a franchise catcher locked for the next eight years, through his 20s — and could end up being the most club-friendly contract they’ve had in baseball’s big-money era.