With the offseason fully underway, there has been a substantial amount of activity. Normally, this amount of activity isn’t seen until the winter meetings of all the GMs next week, but this offseason appears to be different. The market for catchers, specifically, has been very interesting so far. With Dayton Moore being extended, I’d like to offer a ray of hope that while he isn’t the best GM in the game, he most likely isn’t the worst.
Here are some of the contracts given out to catchers, free agent or not, this offseason:
Brian McCann-5 years/$85M (Yankees)
Carlos Ruiz-3 years/$26M (Phillies)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia-3 years/$21M (Marlins)
Ryan Hanigan-3 years/$10.75M (Rays)($3.75M option for 4th year)(Extension)
AJ Pierzynski-1 year/$8.25M (Red Sox)
Navarro-2 years/$8M (Blue Jays)
There have been more contracts given out to catchers, but those are the significant ones so far. Salvador Perez’s contract is 5 years/$7M, with 3 team option years at $3.8M, $5M, and $6M. Potentially, Perez’s total contract could be 8 years/$21.8M, which is the lowest average annual money for anybody listed here. In addition, Perez is projected by Steamer to give 4.4 in 2014, which is tied with McCann for the 2nd highest in the league. Perez could potentially bring more value than all but Buster Posey in terms of , and he’ll be getting paid less on average than every single catcher listed above. Other projection systems could see things differently, so it will be interesting if there are differences.
This isn’t a perfect comparison because Perez’s extension happened before the 2012 season, when he had virtually no track record of success, and the Royals had exclusive negotiating rights. I have no doubt, though, that Perez could fetch just as much as McCann or more if he hit the open market right now. Perez brings above average offense, elite defense, and youth. Dayton Moore should be commended for having locked up such a valuable asset to a team-friendly contract. If the Royals use all 3 team options and don’t sign him to another extension, Perez will hit free agency at the age of 29, so he’ll certainly get a chance to get a big contract.
This was just one example of Dayton Moore doing a good job. There are some others, like the Alex Gordon and Billy Butler contracts, but there are many examples of Moore doing a poor job as well. Jose Guillen and Jeff are two prominent examples of disasters, and having only one winning season as a GM since he took over is not a point in his favor. The inability of the organization to develop starting pitching is another example against him. Like many other GMs, Dayton has made bad moves, good moves, and mediocre moves. The Royals could do worse…but probably not that much worse.