Sports are weird. At my corporate job, we are discouraged from talking salaries (though I do it anyways) because it can make people feel bad or become angry when they see what a worse employee makes (or even a perceived worse employee). It happens in sports all the time. Look no further than the Andreu Fontas signing and Ike Opara’s subsequent exit from Sporting Kansas City.
Well, it’s a contract year for Sporting KC’s left wing of choice and 2021 team MVP, Daniel Salloi. Naturally, that leads to situations where one wonders if a player will move on after the season, or even sign a pre-contract in the summer (to leave after the year ends). Just a year ago, fans may have been fine with that for Salloi who had two poor years back-to-back (though he barely played in the weird 2020 COVID season).
Today, it would be a catastrophe if Salloi left, especially for free. The media first was able to speak with Peter Vermes today and The Blue Testament asked him about Salloi’s status and if the team is trying to extend him.
First, Vermes joked, “we just signed him to a 10-year deal” before giving an explanation that this is like every season where guys will be out of contract at the end of the year. Vermes ended with a sincere, “of course we’d like to try and re-sign him... it’s something we’ll continue to work towards as the season goes on.”
For his part, Daniel was much more curt. When I asked him about the contract and a possible desire to go to Europe, he responded, “all I can say is, I have one year left on my contract and we’ll see what happens.” It was similar to last year when we found out the team had extended him at some point during his poor run and 2021 wasn’t a contract year, but that he was extended into 2022.
I asked Vermes before this call with Salloi and he cut me off to say, "We just signed him to a 10-year deal... no I'm kidding."— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) February 16, 2022
"Of course we'd like to try and re-sign him... it's something we'll continue to work towards as the season goes on." #SportingKC https://t.co/L2dTYwV497
After my question, no one else got one in before the presser ended. It was an abrupt, and awkward ending (I often go last as low man on the call, despite covering the team for six years, there are members of the media who’ve been at this far longer).
Salloi’s Salary History
In 2021, Salloi got a nice raise up to $456,667. That raise came (and may have happened in 2020, but that data was never released) despite a big dip in production in 2019 (just a single goal) after a breakout 2018 season where he won the team’s Golden Boot. Back in 2019, he made just $139,624.96, and it goes down from there.
The team and Peter bet that his down turn was an aberration and not a trend and they were right after a glorious 2021.
He’s due a raise. He far outplayed his deal and it seems the team realizes that. The sad thing is we probably won’t know how this negotiation went unless a new deal is announced or it all goes South.
Sporting KC already have three Designated Players (DPs) on their budget for 2023 (Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell and Gadi Kinda), but it’s believed there is room to wiggle. And even a raise up into the Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) range would be substantial. For 2023, that’d be a max of $1,651,250. Or nearly four times his current pay.
Sign me up for that raise.
Let’s hope this is just Daniel betting on himself and that he’ll cash in big at the end of the season if he puts up another 2021 in terms of numbers. It’s not uncommon for young guys to want to go to Europe, though Daniel technically was loaned to his native Hungary before. It’ll be a shame if he leaves for free (and it would still be a bit sad if he was sold too).
He did buy a house in Kansas City, so hopefully he thinks of this place as home. But just in case, really savor Salloi in 2022 in case it’s his final year.