Investing 388.5 billion won in 11 years to 23-year-old shortstop, Kansas City came in last place… I’ve never spent so much money

Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (23) signed an extension contract for the highest amount ever in the club.꽁머니사이트

Kansas City officially announced on the 6th (Korean time) that it has agreed to the largest contract in the club’s history with shortstop Wit Jr. According to the Major League’s official website “MLB.com ,” it is a huge contract worth up to 377 million dollars (about 503.5 billion won) for 14 years if the team option of $89 million for three years is added on the condition of $288.7 million (about 385.5 billion won) with an 11-year guarantee.

It is also the first contract for more than 10 years as the largest contract in Kansas City’s club history. In March 2021, catcher Salvador Perez signed a four-year, $82 million extension contract, the highest ever for the club, and Wit easily exceeded $200 million for the first $100 million. Based on the FA contract, outfielder Alex Gordon’s four-year, $72 million contract was the highest in January 2016.

In addition, the contract also included conditions to become an FA by opting out after the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th years. Seven years later, he can be on the FA market at the age of 30 and a player-friendly contract has been made enough to opt out for four consecutive years.

“From the moment I was selected in the 2019 draft, the entire Royals team and their fans treated me like a family. This city and team felt like home from the very first day, and I am honored to have the opportunity to represent Kansas City going forward. I would like to thank the owner and the Royals front office for their trust in me. I will do my best to bring the championship back to Kansas City,” Witt Jr. said in his contract speech.

Kansas City owner and CEO Sherman said, “I’m very proud to announce a historic contract with a very special player. Just like our fans, I’m thrilled that Bobby will be able to play in the Royals for a very long time to come. Bobby has made us a better team. I’m grateful for his dedication to the fans, the city, and the team.”

“From the day we named Bobby, we were confident that he would be a star and one of the most talented players in the league. He confirmed that talent for the last two seasons and showed that he was a great teammate. I know that he wants to win for his fans as much as we do,” said J.J. Piccolo, the Kansas City executive vice president.

The son of his father Bobby Witt, a pitcher who won 142 games in 16 seasons in the Major League, was selected by the Kansas City Royals as the second most promising player in the first round after catcher Adley Ruchman of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2019 draft. The down payment of 7.78 million U.S. dollars was the highest ever in Kansas City.

Witte Jr., who has shown rapid growth in the Minor League as expected and ranked No. 1 in the MLB Pipeline list in 2022, made a successful debut in the big league that year. With a batting average of .254 (150 hits in 591 times at bat) and 20 homers, 80 RBIs, 80 runs, 30 walks, 135 strikeouts, 30 steals, and a .294 slugging percentage, .428 OPS.722. His 20 home runs and 20 steals in his debut season are the fifth in MLB history.

In his second year in the team’s 158 games last year, he had a batting average of 276 (67 hits in 641) with 30 homers, 96 RBIs, 97 runs with 40 walks, 121 strikeouts, 49 steals, and a .319 slugging percentage, and an on-base percentage of .495 OPS.813, ranking seventh in the AL MVP voting. He also set a record of 30 homers and 30 steals for the first time in Kansas City’s team history.

Witte Jr., who became the seventh player in the U-23 season to achieve 30-30 and showed off his best hot-handedness in the league, is also highly skilled in shortstop defense. OAA (Outs About Average), which is an index to handle out-counting compared to last year’s average, ranked first in the AL shortstop with 14 and third in the fielders overall.

Kansas City, a small market team, has given an unusual 11-year, long-term contract, and is showing tremendous growth as a five-tool player. Wit Jr. also expressed his desire to spend his career in Kansas City, and both sides reached an extension contract prior to spring training.

Kansas City failed to play in fall baseball for eight consecutive years since its second World Series victory in 2015. Even in the AL Central District, which is less competitive, it failed to display strength by ranking fifth and last for two consecutive years. Notably, it had a tough year last year with 56 wins and 106 losses (winning rate of .346), tying the club’s lowest winning rate along with 2005.

However, the Kansas City Royals have recruited a number of veteran players from the FA market this winter, including starting pitcher Seth Lugo (three years, 45 million dollars), reliever Michael Waka (two years, 32 million dollars), reliever Chris Stranton (two years, eight million dollars), Will Smith (one year, five million dollars), infielder Adam Frazier (one year, 45 million dollars), Garrett Hampson (two years, two million dollars), and outfielder Hunter Renfroe (two years, 13 million dollars). He also signed a massive extension of Witte Jr., the centerpiece of the rebuilding process, signaling a win-now move. /waw@osen.co.kr

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