KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals and shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. agreed Monday to the longest contract in franchise history, an 11-year pact that includes three years of team options that could keep the rising star with the ballclub through the 2037 season.
The financial terms were not immediately available. The team has planned a Tuesday news conference to discuss the deal.
The 23-year-old Witt became the first player in Royals history to enter the 30-30 club last year, when he hit 30 homers and stole 49 bases. The only other American League shortstop to accomplish the feat by Witt’s age was Alex Rodriguez in 1998.
Witt’s breakthrough season, which resulted in him landing seventh in AL MVP voting, came after he hit 20 homers and stole 30 bases as a rookie. No player in big league history has hit 50 homers and stole 79 bases through his first two seasons.
“From the day we drafted him we felt confident Bobby would become one of our game’s brightest stars and biggest talents,” Royals general manager J.J. Picollo said. “These last two seasons have been confirmation of that talent, and proof that he’s an even better teammate. We know he wants to win here for our fans as much as we do.”