KC Royals: Yordano Ventura Discussing Contract Extension


KC Royals phenom Yordano Ventura is discussing a 5-year contract extension with the team. The sides are “at the finish line” according to a tweet Saturday morning by Yahoo.com’s Jeff Passan:

The 23-year-old Ventura capped an excellent rookie season with seven shutout innings in game 6 of the World Series. The post-season heroics followed a 14-10 season by Yordano Ventura, along with a 3.20 ERA in 183.0 innings pitched and 159 strikeouts. 

Yordano Ventura has recorded the highest average fastball in the pitch f/x era, with a fourseam heater that averaged 98.26 mph. Ventura also featured an effective curveball and change, as well as a 97.71 mph hard sinker.

Add the solid production to the electric stuff, and you get one of the most exciting young starting pitchers in the game.

Yordano Ventura signed with the Kansas City Royals as a skinny 17-year-old. Ventura was only 5-11 and a 140 pound teenager in the Dominican Republic when he joined the Royals organization. His signing bonus was a paltry $28,000.

When the Royals signed Yordano Ventura, his fastball only hit the mid-80’s. Two years later, the then 19-year-old farmhand turned heads by hitting triple digits on the radar gun at the KC Royals spring facility in Surprise, Arizona.

Since Ventura could not command a large signing bonus as an amateur, he’s an excellent candidate for an early contract extension. The Royals cut a similar deal with catcher Salvador Perez.

Yordano Ventura is in a position where financial security is more important than maximizing his future earnings. A career-ending injury could leave him with little to show for his baseball career.

For the KC Royals, accepting some injury risk would allow them to lock in their young rotation star at a bargain price. Not only would the salary relief help them in future payrolls, they won’t have to go through awkward arbitration negotiations.

For a general manager like Dayton Moore, who has never gone to arbitration with any player since becoming Kansas City Royals GM in 2006, avoiding future acrimony is important.

It’s good to see Moore seizing the opportunity to cut a deal that helps both sides. With Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Danny Duffy, and Lorenzo Cain all moving through their arbitration years, the KC Royals need to grab any chance they can get to get cost control.

In many ways, Latin American prospects are more important to the long-term success of the franchise than American ballplayers. Latin signees can only rarely command large signing bonuses that are typical for top U.S. prospects in the amateur draft.

Consequently, the KC Royals have a far greater chance to get extra prime seasons, or cost control, from a Latin American player early in their  career. These kinds of deals are vital for a small market team to remain competitive against their more well-endowed competition.

If the Kansas City Royals catch some luck, they could lock up an ace pitcher over the next five years for a bargain price.

Dayton Moore has been on a roll over the last year. Keep it up!

Next: Lorenzo Cain Fantasy Profile

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