Royals give Pérez 4-year, $82M deal; richest in team history

·1 min read

The Kansas City Royals have given six-time All-Star catcher Salvador Pérez the richest contract in club history, a four-year, $82 million deal that begins in 2022.

The contract includes a club option worth an additional $13.5 million and has a $2 million buyout for 2026.

Kansas City announced Sunday it had extended Pérez's time with the team.

The deal surpasses the four-year, $72 million contract the Royals gave to outfielder Alex Gordon in 2016. That deal wound up being a disappointment and Gordon retired after last season.

Pérez, who turns 31 in May, has not only established himself as one of the game's premier hitting catchers but also one of the most beloved players in Royals history. He was the World Series MVP in 2015, when the club broke their 30-year title drought, and is coming off a season in which he hit .333 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs to win his third Silver Slugger.

Pérez is a five-time Gold Glove winner, and the Royals are counting on his ability to bring out the best in their pitchers to help a young and promising starting rotation that they hope will lead them back to the playoffs.

He's also has proven to be durable behind the plate. Pérez appeared in at least 129 games for six consecutive seasons — no small feat for the game's most demanding position — until missing the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery.

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Dave Skretta, The Associated Press