Yesterday afternoon, the Royals announced that they had signed catcher Salvador Perez to a guaranteed 5 year and $7m dollar contract, with 3 additional option years for a possible total of $26.75m.

Those contract details can only mean one thing: the Royals got an awesome Groupon for Salvador Perez. That contract is just silly. The Royals have only guaranteed the 5 years which Salvador Perez would be under team control and Perez could bring $7m in value by the All-Star Break. I find it nearly impossible that Salvador would not surpass $7m in arbitration dollars. This my friends is the best team deal I’ve seen the Royals sign…well, ever.

Some folks are saying that the Royals are taking a risk here, but they’re wrong. There is almost no risk whatsoever in this deal for the Royals. The absolute worst case scenario is that Perez doesn’t play a single inning again and they are on the hook for $7m. It would be like stepping to the roulette table and getting paid on every single number except 0. This deal is as risky as sitting on your couch. Sure a satellite could crash into your living-room and kill you, but it’s not very likely.

I’d be pretty happy with this signing if Salvador Perez was merely an alright catcher, it gets even crazier if he can actualize the talent I believe he has. I’ve seen a top notch defender who can hit for some average and a lot of power. He has every chance of being one of the best catchers in baseball and he’ll be paid $1m less per year than Miquel Olivo made last year. I am really high on Salvador Perez and I believe he will be more than capable as a front line starter and he’s getting paid like a backup. If I were Salvador’s agent, I’d suggest that he pass on this opportunity and go through some arbitration. However, nobody has ever offered me $7m for anything and saying no to that, especially after only 39 games has to be difficult.

So the signing itself was fantastic, but the way it went down was pretty genius as well. It started with emails to media members which said that the Royals would be announcing a contract extension and would have a press conference at 5:30 central time with an unnamed player. This unnamed player business did exactly what it was supposed to do, it made everyone think that an agreement had been signed with Alex Gordon.

Twitter began to explode with bloggers and national writers alike pumping the #RoyalsAnnouncement. Craig Brown said that he would set me on fire if it wasn’t an Alex Gordon signing and I was taking guesses on what the Gordon contract looked like.  There were some people who thought that since Danny Duffy, Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer were still unsigned that it could be any one of them in addition to Alex Gordon. However we all kind of assumed that a big announcement with an unnamed player didn’t really make sense for any of them except possibly Hosmer. It had to be Gordon.

As I and many thousands of Kansas Citians were driving home in our cars, we tuned into the local sports talk radio stations to hear the big announcement. Then when the Royals announced that it was Salvador Perez, I became a tad bit disappointed and then extremely excited. Then I paused and realized that the Royals just pulled off an amazing coup.

They got both local sports talk stations to completely ditch discussion of the epic Mizzou vs ku basketball game – during drive time. As I and every other sports loving Kansas Citian was cruising home from our jobs we were inundated with Royals talk rather than what was clearly a much more important story. It was an absolute stroke of marketing genius to time things that way and it’s one of the few times that I think there was some tangible benefit to the DEFCON 8 level lockdown they have at One Royal Way.

Yesterday was a big success for the Royals. They just made a crazy cheap signing of a potential star and they dominated local sports talk. Both moves were intelligent, smart, well-thought out and executed to perfection. Whoah, I just used all of those words to describe the Royals. Maybe things really are starting to come together.


Nick Scott
Follow @brokenbatsingle