Tuesday newsletter time: Would qualifying offer be a win-win for Rangers, Martin Perez?
(AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
The Rangers and the agent for Martin Perez continue to talk about keeping the left-hander where he wants to be, with a team that could really use starting pitching.
It makes so much sense for the Rangers to keep Perez, but they have a few options.
The first is to give Perez a three-year deal worth $40 million to $45 million. Perez proved the entire season that he is the pitcher he was. His terrific May wasn’t a fluke, as he continued pitching well, eating innings (196 1/3) and very effectively (2.89). He pitched better than Jon Gray, who was in the first year of a four-year, $56 million contract and hit the injured list three times.
The Rangers’ old regime, which isn’t much different from the new one, said they would not give Perez the same money as Gray
If they are unable to sign him to a deal to their liking, they could make him a qualifying offer. If he bolted for another team, the Rangers would receive draft pick compensation. That could be handy if the Rangers sign a player or two who come with compensation attached.
The qualifying offer is $19.4 million for one year. All teams love one-year contracts. Perez might love it, too.
He would receive a massive raise over the $4 million he made this season and could become a free agent again. Because the Rangers made him a qualifying offer, he would exempt from receiving one next offseason.
A repeat season and no compensation attached would increase his value.
But if he knows he can get $40 million elsewhere, he would have to take it. While he’s likely supremely confident that he can repeat what he did in 2022, it would be too risky to turn down a $40 million guarantee.
The Rangers can’t outsmart themselves here. They know what they have in Perez and what they don’t have elsewhere in the rotation.
It makes so much sense.
Kumar Rocker appears to have found his groove in the Arizona Fall League.
The Rangers’ first-round pick this year, selected third overall, allowed one hit in three scoreless innings Monday in what rates as his best start so far. He struck out five, didn’t walk any batters and threw an efficient 45 pitches.
The Rangers are hoping for Rocker to log around 20 innings this fall. He’s halfway there, and his ERA has dropped to 3.38.
He has yet to go past three innings, and the Rangers might let him go up to five innings in his final start.
If he continues to pitch well, it will be interesting to see where the Rangers start him next season.
Owen White had a strong fall last year after having limited regular-season innings and opened at High A Hickory.
Rocker and 2021 firstr-rounder Jack Leiter were college teammates at Vanderbilt and both came to the Rangers as advanced pitchers.
The Rangers started Leiter at Double A Frisco this year even though he didn’t make his professional debut, and he struggled to a 5.54 ERA.
Might that make the Rangers take a more conservative approach with Rocker?
☠️🎃💀🪦👻@Rangers No. 2 overall Draft pick Kumar Rocker tricked Mesa hitters and was a treat to watch today in the AFL:
5 K pic.twitter.com/0nt0jGVjHE
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 31, 2022
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