The Red Sox are bringing back left-hander Martin Perez on a one-year, $5 million deal for the 2021 season, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Per Rosenthal, Perez will earn a base salary of $4.5 million this year and will have the opportunity to earn $6 million in 2022 via a club option. The deal also includes incentives for number of innings pitched for both 2021 and 2022.
If the Red Sox were decline that club option, the southpaw could then earn an additional $500,000 through a buyout, which would take the total value of the contract to $5 million.
Perez, who turns 30 in April, is coming off a debut season with Boston in which he posted a 4.50 ERA and 5.12 xFIP over 12 starts spanning 62 innings of work in 2020.
Those numbers might not look great on the surface, but there was a stretch from July 30 until August 22 and another stretch from September 3 until September 18 where Perez was one of, if not the best starter in Boston’s rotation.
The Venezuelan international originally inked a one-year, $6 million pact with the Red Sox in December 2019. That contract also included a team option — worth approximately $6.25 million — for a potential second year, but the Sox declined said option in early November.
Since that time, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have not made too many major moves to address Boston’s pitching needs, as right-handers Matt Andriese (signed a one-year deal in December) and Garrett Whitlock (Rule 5 Draft selection) have been the only significant additions thus far in terms of potential rotation depth.
With that in mind, perhaps the Sox thought it was in their best interest to shore up their starting rotation a little bit by bringing back a familiar face in Perez.
The fact that the one-time Rangers hurler was even still available was somewhat of a surprise given the notion that the Padres — run by former Texas director of international and professional scouting A.J. Preller — were among the teams interested in his services.
Now that Perez is back in Boston, though, he joins the likes of Andriese, Whitlock, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, and Tanner Houck among those currently on the team who will have a spot in the rotation to start the year and those who will have to fight for a spot during spring training.
That said, expect more pitching additions (Jake Odorizzi?) for the Red Sox to come relatively soon.
Also, the Red Sox will have to clear a spot on their 40-man roster to make the Perez signing official, so that’s another thing to monitor.
(Picture of Martin Perez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)