The Kansas City Royals made plenty of moves this offseason to excite their fans, including signing Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Hunter Renfroe, and Chris Stratton, and bringing in Kyle Wright. However, perhaps the transaction that would mean more to Royals fans than any other is extending the contract of their star shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.
According to the latest reporting by Jeff Passan of ESPN, the two sides have agreed on a contract extension that would keep the star shortstop with the team until the end of 2030.
Royals News: Kansas City and Bobby Witt Agree on Massive Extension
Witt's new deal with the Royals will be an 11-year, $288.8 million contract. The 23-year-old will have an option to opt out after the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth seasons, while Kansas City can use a team option after the 11th season to keep him around for three years and $89 million. This brings the maximum for this deal to a 14-year, $377 million contract.
This puts Witt's deal above his counterparts who saw massive paydays early in his career. Fellow shortstops Fernando Tatis Jr had signed a 14-year, $340 million and Wander Franco had penned an 11-year, $182 million extension back in 2021 in similar situations to Witt. This gives Witt more guaranteed money than all but 15 players in baseball history, according to ESPN.
Witt just finished his second MLB campaign which he broke out for a .276/.319/.496 batting line with 177 hits, 30 home runs, and 96 RBIs. He added 49 stolen bases and played excellent defense all season, finishing with a 4.4 WAR for the year.
After finishing 56-106 last season, the Royals are trying to take a significant step forward in 2024. Holding onto one of the best young players in the league shows that they mean business as they look to transition to a new downtown stadium.