Royals Baseball Is Exciting Again? Witt Signs Massive Deal
The Kansas City Royals have had active off-season giving fans a glimmer of hope that the team will play some exciting baseball this season. That excitement just got a huge shot in the arm as the franchise just gave Bobby Witt Jr. a monster extension that could keep him a Royal for the next 14 years.
Make no mistake, the Royals are going all in on Bobby Witt Jr. and expect him to be the next George Brett, or at least be the team's 21st-century version of Brett. I don't know about you, but that's what The Royals signing Witt to a mega-extension of his contract that could run through 2034 means to me.
The Royals didn't release the terms of the deal, however, ESPN is reporting the 11-year deal, with a team option that could extend the deal to 14 years, is a 288 million dollar deal.
The contract, according to ESPN, allows Witt to opt out after the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth years. The Royals also have an option to tack three years and $89 more million dollars on the deal, giving the contract a total value of 377 million dollars and 14 years.
In an article on the Royals website, Witt said,
“This city and this team have felt like home since day one, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to continue to represent all of KC."
If Whitt spends the full 14 years playing for the Royals, his contract would be the third-largest contract in baseball history. As of now, the 11-year deal is the largest in Royals history the largest deal signed by a pre-arbitration player.
The length of Witt's deal allows the Royals to build around him for the future without worrying about him leaving for free agency until at least after the 2030 season. Witt broke out last year becoming the first Royal with a 30-30 season, and his 49 steals make him the fifth player in Major League History to have 30-plus homers and 49 stolen bases. In addition to his offense, Witt improved his defense at shortstop dramatically with his 14 Outs Above Average ranking first among American League shortstops and third among all positions in the American League.
The Royals website article on Witt's signing also mentions that Witt and his agents made it clear Witt wants to be a Kansas City Royal for life and that he'd like to do for the Royals what Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has done for that franchise.
John Sherman said in a statement, “Like our fans, I’m thrilled that this ensures Bobby will compete in a Royals uniform for many years to come. Bobby makes us better, and I’m grateful for his commitment to our fans, our city, and our team.”
In a year where discussion of a new downtown ballpark has been the talk of the team, the Royals quietly have gone out and strengthened the team by getting second baseman Adam Frazier, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, along with a bunch of pitching including Michael Wacha and Chris Stratton.
Between some of the short-term signings and Witt's new deal fans are expecting a lot, and should get a team that's at the very least exciting to watch. Royals owner Sherman may also get some votes when Jackson County residents go to the polls to vote on whether or not they're interested in helping pay for the new ballpark the Royals want to build.
We'll have to see how the Royals do on the field, and how Sherman's ballpark plans fare at the ballot box this spring. One thing is for sure, it looks like there's going to be fireworks associated with Royals baseball this spring and summer!
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