Vinnie Pasquantino confirms he has interest in signing a long-term deal with KC Royals

During the Royals’ fan fest in February, owner John Sherman talked about his desire to sign younger players to long-term contracts.

That’s become a norm around baseball.

A year ago, the Seattle Mariners gave outfielder Julio Rodriguez a contract extension through the 2034 season that included options that could run through 2039. The deal is worth $210 million guaranteed and could end up being valued at $470 million.

The Atlanta Braves have signed five young players to longer deals that buy out arbitration years and push back the timeline for when they’ll become free agents.

Sherman sees the wisdom in doing the same thing with the Royals.

“We think that’s a really important thing for a small-market club to do,” Sherman said. “I’d love to know that we have some of these guys beyond their arbitration years.

“It becomes very valuable because you have cost certainty. Plus, if you’re going to lose them in five years, you’ve got to think about: How do you get a return on a really talented guy in their fourth or fifth year? ... I’m going to be down in Surprise with the front-office group, and we’re going to spend a lot of time on that, talking about key guys.”

One player who appears willing to sign a long-term contract with the Royals is first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino. He mentioned that during an interview on SiriusXM.

Pasquantino, 25, confirmed that desire Friday ahead of the Royals’ three-game series with the White Sox.

“To answer your question directly or to answer that direct question, I’ll say what I said on MLB Radio that I think for every player, you dream of playing for the same team your entire career,” Pasquantino said. “I really enjoy this organization. So on the surface, yes, I’d love to stay here. But there’s way more that goes into it than that.

“There has to be want from the other side as well, to want me to be around, so I don’t really know how to answer that, to be honest. Short answer, sure. Yeah, that’d be great. But you know, there’s two sides to that.”

Royals general manager J.J. Picollo declined to comment on a contract matter, and Pasquantino said he had “no information” on any discussions with the team.

Last September, Picollo said the Royals had preliminary talks with shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. on a long-term deal. Picollo said it was in the “infantile stages.”

Heading into Sunday, Pasquantino has been one of the Royals’ best hitters. He leads the team in on-base percentage (.342), walks (21) and doubles (13). He is second to catcher Salvador Perez in hits (45), home runs (eight), RBIs (21) and on-base-plus slugging percentage (.810).

Pasquantino, who made his major-league debut last June, won’t be arbitration eligible until 2026 and doesn’t hit free agency until 2029. So there’s time to come to agreement on a long-term deal, if both sides express a desire to get it done.

At this point, Pasquantino is interested.