Just a little more than a week after the Cleveland Indians signed Jose Ramirez to a five-year contract extension, the team has agreed to a four-year deal with backup catcher Roberto Perez:
The Indians have signed C Roberto Perez to a four-year extension with team options for 2021 and 2022. More info soon...— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 2, 2017
While the specific dollar amounts are not known yet, the deal includes club options for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Roberto Perez, 28, has been the backup catcher to Yan Gomes since 2014. Seen as a good defender with a cannon of an arm, he has seen his playing time steadily increase over the past couple of years as Gomes has gone down with injury on more than one occasion. While Tito has said that Gomes will be the starting catcher in 2017, that may be entirely contingent on Gomes a) staying healthy and b) hitting better than he did last season (it’s almost impossible for him to hit worse).
In 184 plate appearances last season, Perez slashed .183/.285/.294, good for a wRC+ of just 58. You may think that that is horrible, but for comparison’s sake, Gomes hit .167/.201/.327 (wRC+ of 33) over the course of 264 plate appearances in 2017. Don’t expect Perez to win any silver sluggers over the next four years, but get used to him doing things like this:
It looks like the overall value of the contract will be at least 9 million dollars with the opportunity for an additional 12.5 million should the Indians exercise the contract options:
Deal worth at least $9M. Per source:— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) April 2, 2017
2021: $5.5M opt
2022: $7M opt