The Red Sox have declined left-hander Martin Perez’s team option for the 2021 season, therefore making him a free agent, the club announced earlier Sunday evening.
Perez, who would have been in line to earn $6.85 million next season if his club option had been picked up, now hits the open market as one of the more intriguing southpaws available.
The 29-year-old posted a 4.50 ERA and .744 OPS against over 12 starts and 62 innings pitched in his first season with Boston after a signing a one-year deal last December.
Outside of a poor 2020 finale in which he yielded six runs to the Orioles on September 24, Perez proved to be one of, if not the most consistent starter on the Sox’ pitching staff.
Despite receiving that level of consistency when the team’s pitching was, for the most part, dismal all year, Boston did not reward the Venezuelan hurler by picking up his option.
Instead, as previously mentioned, Perez is now a free agent for the second time in 12 months.
Perhaps chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will look to bring the lefty back on a cheaper deal, but even if they do not, rotation additions and/or upgrades are still likely to happen regardless.
As noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Perez becoming a free agent lowers the Red Sox’ current projected 2021 payroll down to $167.175 million, which as of now is well below the $210 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold.
Additionally, Perez hitting the open market now means that the Sox have 36 players on their 40-man roster, so there is plenty of space to work with on both of those fronts.