Texas Rangers Should Decline Option on Martin Perez
By Andrew Webb
The starting rotation has been one of the strongest parts of the Rangers team this season. One player that has been dragging it down from being superior is Martin Perez. What should the Rangers do with Perez after the season?
Looking at the statistics alone gives enough reason to let starter Martin Perez walk after the season. The Texas Rangers need young controllable starters, but Perez seems to be getting worse each year.
This season Perez is 5-10 with a 5.46 ERA in 21 starts. He’s allowed 151 hits in just 117 innings pitched. To make matters worse he’s allowed 16 home runs already and is giving up too much hard contact.
Last season Perez finished with a 1.8 WAR even though he had a 4 ERA and 200 hits allowed. Now Perez has a 0.2 WAR, and could go negative if these struggles continue. The Rangers have a big decision to make this off-season.
The four-year deal Perez originally signed expires after this season. He has three team options after that starting at $6 million and grows to $9 million a year. The team can buyout Perez for $2.45 million next season.
The 26-year-old Perez had a promising rookie campaign in 2013. He went 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 20 starts. He’s gone downhill since then and the Rangers continue to wait for that rookie Perez to return.
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It’s not looking like that is going to happen and it’s time to move on. The Rangers have other pitchers that could take over that spot in the rotation. Yes, Texas want young controllable starters like Perez, but he is not a starter.
There is a chance Perez does a better job in the bullpen. Plenty of pitchers have been from mediocre starters to reliable relievers. It’s worth a shot at this point, and it honestly can’t hurt the Rangers.
If Perez or the Rangers feel that the bullpen is not an option then that could be the end. The Rangers can’t continue to wait for Perez, and if he’s not going to switch roles then it’s time to move on.
The bottom line is that Martin Perez should not be in the Rangers starting rotation. If he has success in the bullpen then pick up his option in 2018. The starting rotation is not the place for Perez anymore.
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There is still time to move Perez over to the bullpen and give him a chance to earn that option. It’s hard to see any positives to keeping Perez has a starter anymore. Time to move him to the pen or cut him loose in 2018.