3 Texas Rangers players to trade, keep or build
Keep: Martin Perez
Are we going to keep a starting pitcher who is currently having by far his best career year on a ONE-YEAR DEAL? Yes, kind of.
If an absolute winner of a trade comes along that lands you a top player at a key position, you make it. If not, then you look to extend him. Martin Perez was once the Rangers’ second-ranked prospect behind only then-first overall prospect Jurickson Profar. Perez was ranked 29th in baseball at the time of his promotion, thanks in part to the repertoire of pitches he could toss. Perez flashed his potential in 2013, his second season in the bigs, by posting a 3.62 ERA with 84 strikeouts to 37 walks in 20 games. He never could quite live up to the expectations though as he struggled with command later in games. His ERA remained middling with a career 4.70 ERA spanning parts of 10 seasons. His wort career year coincided with his last year in Texas as he sported a 6.22 ERA and dabbled in the bullpen. He then signed with Minnesota, where he didn’t fare any better before landing in Boston for 2 years. He continued to pitch at an average to below average rate and once again spent time in the bullpen.
All that is in the past now though. Perez turned 31 in April this year and is looking to enter his TRUE prime. Attempting to follow in the same footsteps as Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman who went from mediocre to Cy Young contenders in their age 29 and 30 seasons respectively, Martin could finally be meeting his potential. Perez has stated his main focus is “throwing quality balls” allowing him to stay out of his head and take it one hitter at a time. His pitches remain high quality but his location has improved dramatically.
Perez, who just won AL Pitcher of the Month in May, currently has a 1.42 ERA. He has yet to allow a home run this year but has kept his strikeout rate about career average, his main improvement is a personal best walk rate of only two per nine IP.
Now, Texas shouldn’t “break the bank” for Perez as this year does stand out for his career but locking him down to a moderate three or four year deal could pay dividends.