Tuesday newsletter time: Offseason winds shift, and Martin Perez expects to return to Rangers
(AP photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Free-agent rumblings change like the weather, and what was valid as recently as Friday can change quickly.
Such was the case with Martin Perez, who an industry source said last week was likely going to be heading elsewhere after the Rangers extended him a qualifying offer. Teams were interested.
By Monday, though, things had changed.
A weekend of feeling out potential suitors came up with unsatisfactory results, and, barring a late development, Perez decided to take the one-year, $19.65 million qualfying offer. He has until this afteroon to make it official.
That qualfying offer was indeed a hinderance, accorinding to the source, as other teams (Angels, Orioles) balked. Perez was waiting to hear back Monday from the Mets.
So, Perez will probably be back with the Rangers, who would suddenly have three starters locked up: Perez and right-handers Jon Gray and Jake Odorizzi, who was acquired last week from the Braves.
How many more starters will the Rangers sign? Well, they have two openings they could give to a free agent or a trade piece. They could sign one and just let Glenn Otto and Dane Dunning slug it out in spring training for the last spot. They could commit money to the bullpen.
Another possibility is working out an extension with Perez, who didn’t want to leave the Rangers. He would like to be paid by the Rangers, too.
An extra year on Perez’s deal would give the Rangers one less starter to replace for 2024, with Odorizzi on a one-year deal.
Things can change in an instant in a baseball offseason. Just ask Perez.
Speaking of Odorizzi …
He was made available Monday by the Rangers via Zoom, and the immediate takeaway is this guy is going to be a great teammate and 100 percent acountable for everything he does.
Odorizzi was honest in his assessment of his 2022 season and his career. He knows he wasn’t happy with the way things ended after a trade from Houston to Atlanta, and exercised his player option because he didn’t think he would as well in free agency as the $12.5 million he’s guaranteed for this season (the Braves are paying most of the contract).
He’s gained knowhow through his experiences with four teams and is a big believer in analytics as a tool for game-planning, which he gained through his time in Tampa Bay to start his career. But data doesn’t dictate how he pitches.
If the hitters’ swings are telling Odorizzi something different that the numbers suggest they should be swinging, he makes an adjustment. He doesn’t like the idea of numbers dictating how long a starter should pitch in a particular outing, which seems to be happening to him more and more after two times through an opposing batting order.
But it’s not just him, he said. He has seen pitchers pulled after five inning despite having only 55 or 60 pitches because that’s what the numbers said. The eye test said that pitcher was kicking ass and should have stayed in for a third turn through the lineup.
Odorizzi likes that he will have former teammate Mitch Garver as one of his catchers and one of his former catchers, Bobby Wilson, on the coaching staff.
It seems like this one is going to be a good fit.
Rangers Today reminders
The Wilsons are headed to the great state of Colorado this weekend for Thanksgiving, so Rangers Today is going to be pulling the reins a little next week. There will still be the usual weekend things like Friday on the Farm and The Sunday Read, but the newsletters will be as needed.
If there’s news, then for damn sure there will be a story and reaction.
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We also will have a new Rangers Today Baseball Podcast episode this week. It looks like should-have-been-a-first-rounder Brock Porter will be joining us on the hotline from Michigan. Ought to be a good one. Go subscribe to the podcast’s YouTube channel (for free) so that you don’t miss any new episodes or videos we shoot.
In my case, it’s rattle the chips and salsa. Enjoy
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Jeff Wilson, email@example.com