Rangers doom themselves by refusing to sell high on Martín Pérez

The Texas Rangers are reportedly “unlikely” to trade Martín Pérez at this year’s deadline.

31-year old lefty Martín Pérez of the Texas Rangers represented one of the Rangers’ biggest trade pieces at this year’s deadline and was a near-lock to be moved.

While both Pérez and Rangers GM Chris Young have both expressed their interest in signing the southpaw to an extension, the news that the Rangers are now “unlikely” to trade Pérez is a head-scratcher.

In what is the second go-round for Pérez in a Rangers uniform, he has never quite experienced success like he has this year. In 18 starts for the third place Rangers this year, Pérez is 7-2 with a sparkling 2.68 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 111 innings. He has also only allowed seven home runs so far this year, which is a huge improvement from years past.

Rangers rumors: Martín Pérez trade is now “unlikely”

Pérez certainly has looked like a whole new version of himself this year, making his first-career All-Star Game appearance along the way, but with the Rangers not near contention, it’s a little bit confusing as to why they wouldn’t look to sell high on him while they can.

After a lengthy but mediocre seven-year stint with Texas from 2012-2018, Pérez struggled with injuries and couldn’t seem to post a sub-4.00 ERA in a full season. At the conclusion of the 2018 season, he reached free agency for the first time in his career and ultimately signed a one-year contract with the Twins. In 32 appearances (29 starts), Pérez went 10-7 with a 5.12 ERA while striking out a career-high 135 batters but also allowing a career-high 23 home runs.

After the subpar season with the Twins, Pérez signed a one-year contract with the Red Sox that ultimately turned into a second one-year deal at the end of the 2020 season. All told, he made 48 appearances (34 starts) with Boston and went 10-13 with a 4.65 ERA and 4.84 FIP.

There wasn’t much in Pérez’s tenure with the Red Sox to prove that he had taken a step in the right direction developmentally, but the Rangers brought him back to another one-year, $4MM contract once the MLB lockout was lifted earlier this year.

He has looked great on the mound but has not made any noticeable changes to his game, so it’s hard not to worry about a bit of a regression. After all, he is on the wrong side of 30 and is no longer at the stage in his career where a long-term deal is really plausible.

With the Rangers 18.0 GB of the Astros in the AL West and 7.0 GB of an AL Wild Card spot, contention seems unlikely this season. Therefore, an unloading of any veterans of value would be a smart game plan. The Rangers have other tradeable assets like Matt Moore, Kole Calhoun, Jon Gray and Garrett Richards, but perhaps none are more valuable than Pérez. There is no better time than the present to pull the trigger on a trade of the crafty left-hander.

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