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Tuesday newsletter time: No matter how many starters Rangers sign, one should be Perez

(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)

 

Martin Perez is scheduled to return to the mound Thursday afternoon for the Rangers and will likely have two more starts remaining in his breakthrough season.

The left-hander, who is headed toward free agency, has said that he wants to stay with the Rangers beyond this season. The Rangers have said they want to keep Perez. They have even told him as much.

Yet, nothing has happened.

The two sides haven’t spoken terms since July, shortly after Perez made his first All-Star team. He has continued to pitch well, and would look pretty sharp in a free-agent market that is short on quality lefties.

This is relevant because the great Ken Rosenthal wrote Monday that the Rangers would need to sign Perez and three other free agents for 2023. Jon Gray is safe, apparently, and the Rangers have a solid core of position players.

Adding four starters (including Perez) seems to be a stretch, even with Rangers owner Ray Davis and general manager Chris Young saying that the Rangers will be contenders next season. The Rangers don’t want to clog up their rotation on multiple multi-year contracts, as they still have designs on developing starting pitching and have several candidates.

That’s at the core of any rebuilding plan, and Davis remains on board with the direction of the rebuild despite firing Jon Daniels.

Going all-in on pitching would also be a slap in the face to left-hander Cole Ragans, who pitches tonight, and right-hander Dane Dunning, who pitches Wednesday. Glenn Otto, who pitched Sunday, would also be cast aside as nothing more than rotation depth.

While the Rangers have run thin this season on starting pitchers in the minors, they also have a bullpen to address. A series of one-year deals could accomplish a bolstering of the rotation and bullpen, while continuing to let pitching prospects develop.

No matter how many starters the Rangers end up acquiring, Perez should be one of them.

Late-season waiver claim

The Rangers made some minor off-day news Monday by adding right-hander Drew Strotman on a waiver claim from the Twins. He goes on the 40-man roster, and to accommodate him the Rangers transferred Brad Miller (hip) to the 60-day injured list.

Strotman, who was designated for assignment over the weekend, was assigned to Triple A Round Rock after spending the season at Triple A St. Paul. His 6.64 ERA is an eyesore, but he has pitched to a 3.21 ERA since June 22.

He was initially drafted by Tampa Bay in the fourth round in 2017, and he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018.

Miller’s season is over. It was a tough go for him at the plate, where he batted only .212 with seven home runs in 81 games. He has another year and $4 million left on his contract.

Miller is one of four players on the 60-day IL who will need to be added back to the 40-man after the season, joining catcher Mitch Garver (forearm), right-hander Josh Sborz (elbow) and outfielder Eli White. White was shut down last week after injuring his knee during his first rehab game after June wrist surgery.

Leiter in Game 1

Double A Frisco opens its best-of-3 playoff series at 6:35 tonight at Riders Field, and the RoughRiders will turn to right-hander Jack Leiter against San Antonio.

Leiter faded some down the stretch after pitching well following his return from the Futures Game. He won’t be bragging about his 5.54 regular-season ERA and 1.55 WHIP, but he finished with 109 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings.

While some pitchers are butting up against their innings limits, Leiter won’t be limited tonight or in the Texas League championship series should Frisco advance.

The Rangers are curious to see if the competitiveness they saw in Leiter last year before selecting him second overall in the draft will shine through in what qualifies as a big game.

Tickets are only $5.

Doggy video!

How is anyone going to take him seriously now? Enjoy. See you Wednesday.

 

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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