MLB Rumors: The Texas Rangers and free agent pitcher Martin Perez have agreed to terms on a one year, $4 million deal, per multiple reports.
Okay, I know a lot of you are yelling and throwing things. But calm down. This is a good, productive move.
Perez, who turns 31 next month, has not been a particularly good pitcher since putting up a 2.4 bWAR in 2017 for the Rangers. He had a 5.12 ERA in 165.1 IP for the Twins in 2019, with a 4.66 FIP, then followed that up with ERAs of 4.50/4.74 and FIPs of 4.88/4.82 for the Red Sox in 2020 and 2021. The Red Sox declined their $6 million option on him for 2022, resulting in Perez returning to Texas for two-thirds that amount.
Perez isn’t going to save the team or anchor the rotation in 2022. He’s projected to be worth a half-win to a win over a full season in a rotation.
But in case you’ve forgotten due to the lockout...the Rangers don’t really have a rotation right now. They’ve got Jon Gray and Dane Dunning. That’s about it. I mean, yeah, they’ve got guys like Taylor Hearn and Glenn Otto and Kolby Allard who are in the mix for rotation spots, and they hopefully will add another starting pitcher or two (Clayton Kershaw, come on down!), but if your goal is to have a team that isn’t awful in 2022 — and that does appear to be the goal — you should have the Hearns and Ottos and Allards as rotation depth, not guys you’re counting on for 32 starts apiece.
And thus, we have Martin Perez, coming back home. The Rangers will ask the undersized lefty to give them some innings from the back of the rotation and keep his head above replacement level. If he does that, then this signing is a good deal for Texas.