The deal is valued at $288.8 million over 11 years, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. A talented young shortstop with speed and power on the base paths, Bobby Witt Jr. is signed to a hefty contract that will keep him with the Royals through the end of his playing career.
Additionally, Witt would not have been eligible for arbitration after the 2024 season had the deal been signed a year earlier.
This will be Witt’s third MLB season; he is 23 years old. During the previous season, he made 158 doubles.30 home runs, 96 RBI, and 49 stolen bases with a slash line of 276/.319/.495. The AL was led by his 11 triples. In his second MLB season, Witt made significant progress on defense after having trouble as a rookie.
Also, in 2023, he dropped his strikeout percentage from among the lowest in the league (21.4%) as a rookie to 17.4%, which puts him in the 79th percentile of MLB. His 2023 output totaled 4.4 WAR.
According to Passan, Witt has opt-out rights in years seven through ten of the deal. After the eleventh season, the Royals can choose to extend the deal for a further three years and $89 million. This would raise the deal’s overall estimated worth to $377.8 million over a 14-year period.
With the second pick overall in the 2019 draft, the Royals selected Witt out of high school. Witt spent three years in the minor leagues, winning Minor League Player of the Year in 2021. In 2022, he became a full-time member of the Royals.
In his debut season, he finished fourth in the AL debut of the Year voting with 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases. After that, he ran a 2023 campaign that placed sixth in the MVP standings.
As Jackson County voters consider whether to boost the sales tax to aid in the construction of a new downtown stadium, the Royals saw the contract as an investment in winning following a 56-106 season.
Bobby Witt Jr., the father of Witt, was a pitcher in Major League Baseball for 16 seasons and was the 2001 World Series champion with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Currently serving as his agent, his father was involved in the record-breaking contract negotiations.