52.1 F
Los Angeles

Rangers will meet with Martin Perez next week

The Rangers are planning to meet with Martin Perez and his representatives at Octagon next week, general manager Chris Young said at Friday’s end-of-season press conference (Twitter link via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News). Perez, a free agent, has expressed interest in re-signing with Texas at multiple points this summer, and Young went on record to express interest in retaining the 31-year-old southpaw.

Originally signed by the Rangers as an amateur out of Venezuela, Perez once ranked among the sport’s very best pitching prospects. He finished sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting back in 2013 and looked very much like a pitcher on the rise. Perez inked a four-year, $12.5M contract extension that included three club options after that rookie season.

Perez’s upward trajectory quickly hit a snag in 2014, however, as elbow discomfort sidelined him for much of the season and ultimately culminated in Tommy John surgery. He returned late in 2015, but Perez saw his command and strikeout rates both continue to trend in the wrong direction. He settled in as a back-of-the-rotation starter, bouncing from Texas to Minnesota to Boston before returning to the Rangers on a one-year, $4M deal in free agency this past winter.

The Perez reunion was met with a healthy bit of skepticism, but he quieted naysayers with far and away the best showing of his career. In 32 starts and 196 2/3 innings, Perez worked to a 2.89 ERA, a career-best 20.6% strikeout rate and an 8.4% walk rate that was his third-best mark since returning from Tommy John surgery. Perez’s 51.4% grounder rate was his best mark since 2016.

  Mariners ready to continue playoff push in Kansas

There hasn’t been a radical overhaul of Perez’s pitch arsenal — no new, bat-missing slider that’s turned him into a dominant arm — but he’s succeeded with some more subtle changes. This year’s 27.7% usage rate on his changeup was the highest of his career, and Perez increasingly favored his sinker, relegating his four-seamer and curveball to little more than occasional change-of-pace offerings. It was primarily sinker, cutter and changeup for Perez in 2022, and it’s hard to argue with the results.

For all the money the Rangers spent last year — more than a half-billion dollars in free agent contracts — the starting rotation remains in a state of flux. Last year’s main pickup for the starting staff, Jon Gray, posted strong results in his first season away from Colorado’s Coors Field, pitching to a 3.96 ERA in 127 1/3 innings but also missing time with minor knee and oblique issues. Right-handers Dane Dunning and Glenn Otto made 29 and 27 starts, respectively, finishing with ERAs in the mid-4.00s (though Otto’s strikeout and walk rates paint a more bearish picture).

Beyond that trio, there’s no real certainty. Starting pitching figures to be a primary focus for the Rangers this winter, and while Perez may not be expected to repeat his 2022 excellence, he’d be a strong stabilizing presence and a nice early complement as the new-look Texas front office seeks a higher-profile addition for the top of the rotation. Perez has certainly earned himself a multi-year deal with that 2022 showing, and the question will now become one of whether the two parties can find a common ground.

  A's Chad Pinder: Oakland is 'a place that is

Publicly stated mutual interest from the two parties is a good start but hardly solidifies that a deal will come together. If Perez does reach the open market, he ought to draw a fair bit of interest. He continued to command major league contracts with decent guarantees even on the heels of lackluster performances, after all, signaling that teams throughout the league have long believed there’s another gear for him to reach. Now that he’s seemingly found that next level, that interest will only intensify.


www.yardbarker.com

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Latest articles

Angels Stadium Seating Chart

Angels Stadium Seating Chart details you should know before buying a ticket. Angel Stadium of...

Guaranteed Rate Field

The History of Guaranteed Rate Field Guaranteed Rate Field has been the home stadium of the...

Fenway Park Boston

Fenway Park is a famous baseball stadium located in Boston, Massachusetts. It has a capacity...

David Stearns steps down as Brewers’ president of...

“This is not an easy decision for me and is something I have been wrestling...

Subscribe for tips

More like this

World Series storylines: From Phils’ mentality to

Baseball loves its numbers, yet none of the sport's squadron of calculators and array...

Assessing the Milwaukee Brewers’ offseason outlook

The Brewers have often been competitive without being big spenders. They fell off that...

Great American Ball Park

The History of Great American Ball Park The Great American Ball Park is a Major...

Globe Life Field

The History of Globe Life Field Globe Life Field is a baseball stadium in...

Assessing the Chicago White Sox’s offseason outlook

Aside from a new manager, the White Sox don’t seem destined for a major...

Dodger Stadium Los Angeles

The History of Dodgers Stadium Dodger Stadium is a baseball stadium located in the Elysian...