Martin Perez wants to be here, and the Texas Rangers should want him to be as well.
Perez, 31, is having a breakout season no one saw coming in his second stint with the Rangers, pitching to a marvelous 2.68 ERA heading into the All-Star break. Speaking of which, he’ll be an All-Star for the first time in his career next week at Dodger Stadium, representing Texas along with Corey Seager.
The lefty has been the unquestioned ace of this starting rotation, which has been underwhelming overall but performing better of late, especially as Jon Gray has pitched better. Dane Dunning and Glenn Otto still leave something to be desired but have at least been dependable. That’s why it’s a no-brainer to give Martin Perez what he so deserves: an extension.
Perez has been vocal about his desire to remain with the Texas Rangers, telling reporters in June, “I want to be here and stay here, 100 percent. No — make it 300 percent.” And considering how he’s pitched this season, re-inventing himself by throwing more sinkers and changeups, an extension seems like an obvious maneuver.
A Martin Perez extension should be a no-brainer for the Texas Rangers
In addition to him anchoring a rotation that is still relatively unstable, it’s not right to pin the Rangers’ pitching hopes and dreams completely on the shoulders of young studs Jack Leiter, Cole Winn and presumably later, Owen White. This starting group needs help, even with all of those prospects on the rise and even more behind them. Perez provides both leadership and insurance against any of the younger arms faltering should that happen as they develop. He, along with Jon Gray, can form the basis of a solid back-end of the rotation that can help stabilize the young arms.
The Texas Rangers are also still in the mix for a playoff spot this season, so having him in the fold to at least keep things interesting will be important, rather than selling him off as a rental.
Overall, Perez won’t cost the Texas Rangers much money (perhaps $10-$15 million a year, which is double or triple his current $4 million salary) and he’ll be more important than any of us will ever know to the young pitchers on the rise. It’s all the better that there’s mutual interest as well.
Let’s get a deal done.