The Chicago White Sox are going to be bad next season. That does not mean they should take on bad contracts.
That is what will happen if the Sox trade for Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez. The team has been rumored to be interested at the beginning of the offseason in taking on the $42 million left on his deal.
That’s a lot of precious budget space to allocate to a catcher who will be 34 next season. If this was five years ago, make the trade.
Do not make a deal when Perez is on the decline.
He went from being a 3.2 fWAR player in 2021 to -0.3 in 2023. His offensive fWAR has plummeted from 19.6 in 2021 to -13.1 this season.
Salvador has never been known as a great defensive catcher. The Sox are already moving on from Yasmani Grandal partly because of his poor defense behind the plate.
The only value Perez provides to the Chicago White Sox is power (he has 46 dingers over the past two seasons) and clubhouse leadership.
Otherwise, he represents this organization’s strange fascination with replicating the Royals.
The Sox could use help at catcher. Edgar Quero is one of the team’s top prospects, but he could use more at-bats in the minors.
That means a bridge player is needed until Quero is ready. Korey Lee and Carlos Perez are on the roster to provide that bridge.
They also have the potential to be automatic outs. Lee has yet to establish he can hit in the big leagues. Perez is nothing more than a backup catcher.
That is why the Chicago White Sox could use an upgrade at catcher. It should not come at the cost of players to land Perez and the budget space he would take up. Especially since this franchise is headed to another full-blown rebuild (despite what the owner unrealistically wants).
That is why signing Martin Maldonado makes more sense.
The Sox are one of the teams interested in signing the veteran catcher.
It may not be a flashy addition, but we are not getting those this offseason outside of what the team gets back when Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez are eventually traded.
Much like Perez, Maldonado is on the decline especially defensively. That was his calling card. He went from a 9.4 fWAR defensive player in 2022 to -7.3 in 2023.
He still has some pop in his bat with 30 home runs over the past two seasons. Maldonado is projected to cost a one-year, 3-million-dollar deal.
Less years at less money that involves no players being given up is the better move to make even if both options are not very good.