After the Rangers moved into a solid four man rotation for the postseason, frequent regular season starter Martin Perez was moved into a relief role and saw only 4 2/3 innings of work, all in games the Rangers would eventually lose. It makes sense; Perez did decent work in the regular season but also made his 2022 season look more and more like a one-off. In 2022, he finished with a 2.89 ERA, his lowest ever, with 169 strikeouts (his highest ever) over 196 1/3 innings. In 2023, he finished with a 4.45 ERA, with 93 Ks over 141 2/3 innings, which looks much closer to all of his numbers prior to 2022.
Perez is the Rangers' third highest-paid pitcher, after Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, which makes him the Rangers' highest-paid healthy pitcher. He accepted a $19.65 million offer for one year at the beginning of this season, and his numbers don't reflect him living up to that amount. Letting him walk would be the perfect way to free up a huge chunk of money to put toward arbitration-eligible players and postseason stars Nathaniel Lowe, Adolis Garcia, and Jonah Heim.