Photo courtesy of Lone Star Ball.
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed starting pitcher Martín Pérez to a one-year $8 million dollar deal.
Pérez was an undrafted free agent signed by the Texas Rangers in 2007. The then 17-year-old moved through the organization fairly quickly and got his first call to the major leagues in 2012 as a 21-year-old.
He went 1-4 in 6 starts in his first season in Texas but the following season, Pérez started 20 games and was one of the leaders of the Rangers' rotation. He went 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 2013 and played in Texas for parts of 7 seasons before signing as a free agent with the Minnesota Twins in 2019.
Pérez won the 5th spot in the Twins' rotation in 2019, starting 29 games. That year, he went 10-7 with a 5.12 ERA and after the season, he was once again a free agent. He signed a 1-year contract with the Boston Red Sox and went 10-13 in his 2 seasons in Boston. After the Red Sox declined his option, he signed with the Texas Rangers.
Pérez had his best professional season in 2022 for the Rangers. He made all 32 starts for Texas and went 12-8 with a 2.89 ERA. He was the Texas Rangers' all-star rep in the All-Star Game and was re-signed for the 2023 season. He started strong but lost his spot in the rotation later in the season but was part of the World Series Champion Texas Rangers squad that beat Philadelphia.
The 32-year-old veteran is a crafty left-handed pitcher who will not get many strikeouts and he normally limits his free passes. He is effective at tying up and jamming hitters with his location. At 6’0” tall, he is a tad bit on the smaller side for a starting pitcher but makes up for size with a full toolbox of pitches. Pérez throws 6 pitches, which include a 4-seam fastball, sinker, circle changeup, curveball, cutter and a slider. He rarely throws his fastball, but when he does, it sits around 92 mph. His sinker is his go-to pitch, and he mixes up pitches effectively to keep hitters off balance.
The Pirates need starters and now with Martín Pérez and Marco Gonzales on board, they have 2 veteran left-handers to add to the mix. Pérez will be a serviceable addition to the rotation and may become a moveable piece at the trade deadline for young talent if the Pirates are out of the playoff picture. Draft 412 expects the Bucs to bring in one more veteran arm before the season begins in free agency.