Rangers ink LHP Pérez and bolster depth

March 15th, 2022

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers wasted no time making moves after the conclusion of the MLB lockout. Texas and left-handed pitcher Martín Pérez have agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal.

The signing would be another step forward to addressing a major need going into the 2022 season. Texas signed right-hander Jon Gray before the lockout and Pérez is another veteran who can bring length alongside a group of young pitchers.

The Rangers signed Pérez in 2007 as an international free agent out of Venezuela and he spent the first seven years of his big league career with the club. He finished sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2013. During his time in Texas, Perez posted a 4.63 ERA with a 1.48 WHIP.

Pérez spent the previous two seasons with the Red Sox. He threw 114 innings with a 4.74 ERA in 2021. He, along with Gray, will surely upgrade the Rangers' rotation, which had the third-worst ERA (5.33) in MLB in 2021.

As it stands now, Gray and Pérez will slot into the top of the rotation, while the young arms of Taylor Hearn, Dane Dunning, Glenn Otto and AJ Alexy battle it out for the remaining spots. With Opening Day approaching quickly on April 8, pitching health and depth will be a major point of emphasis going forward this Spring Training.

Texas is no doubt still looking to add to the rotation as free agency and the trade market continue to heat up. With Dallas-native Clayton Kershaw returning to the Dodgers and Carlos Rodon also off the board, the Rangers are expected to explore the trade market primarily.

“We want a guy with some experience, that's been through some ups and downs in the big leagues and does things the right way,” manager Chris Woodward said about what the club looks for in free-agent pitchers. “That would be probably more beneficial than anything they'll do on the field to be honest with you. But the next part of that would be the expectation to compete on the field. Obviously we want to bring in somebody that's gonna be good and that's gonna pitch quality innings for us.”

Texas signs three others on Minor deals

The Rangers also agreed to a Minor League deals with right-hander Brandon Workman, left-hander Matt Moore and outfielder Jake Marisnick.

Workman, an Arlington native, posted a 5.46 ERA in 29 games last season with the Cubs and Red Sox. He has a career 4.02 ERA, with his best season in 2019, when he posted a 1.88 ERA and 16 saves in 73 games for Boston.

If he makes the Opening Day roster, Workman would give the Rangers another arm out of the bullpen and a potential closer option while Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc continue to rehab from Tommy John surgery.

Moore also spent one season with the Rangers in 2018 and has a career 4.64 ERA over 205 games (164 starts). He was an American League All-Star in ‘13, when he had a career-high 17 wins to go along with a 3.29 ERA.

Marisnick was most notably a member of the division-rival Astros from 2014-19, when he was part of a World Series winning club in ‘17. Over nine big league seasons, Marisnick slashed .228/.282/.384/.666.

With the Rangers in need of an outfield bat, Marisnick brings depth to the position if he can make the roster out of camp.