Martin Perez Rumors

Texas Notes: Cashner, Ross, Corporan, Luhnow, Andrus

The Astros and Padres have discussed starting pitching, reports Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’s believed that Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross were the subjects of the talks. Lin characterizes the conversations as “preliminary.” He believes the Astros are performing due diligence in case their pursuit of Johnny Cueto goes awry. The Rangers are also known to have interest in both pitchers. Cashner is a free agent after the 2016 season while Ross is club-controlled through 2017.

  • The Rangers have placed catcher Carlos Corporan on the disabled list and recalled Tomas Telis, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Corporan is sidelined with a sprained left thumb. The news comes just a couple days after we learned the Rangers were open to trading Corporan to clear space for Telis. The 24-year-old prospect saw 71 plate appearances last season and has hit relatively well in the minors. This year, he’s managed a .291/.327/.404 line at Triple-A.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is remaining open-minded heading into the trade deadline, he tells Brian McTaggart of MLB.com in an interview. Specifically, he’s looking for a piece that can help the team reach the postseason and succeed in October. Beyond that, he mentioned the rotation, lineup, and bullpen as areas that can be improved. Luhnow also suggested that some talks could drag into August. The interview does make one thing clear – the Astros would like to buy, but they’ll keep an eye on the long term implications as they do it.
  • A change of scenery could be in order for Elvis Andrus, opines Frank Cesare of GammonsDaily.com. The 26-year-old has declined to replacement level production since signing an eight-year, $120MM contract that expires after the 2022 season. Andrus was once known for above average defense, speed, contact ability, and plate discipline. He’s hitting a career worst .245/.303/.328 even though his peripherals are comparable to his career rates. His defense has dropped below average over the last season and a half. Undoubtedly, the Rangers would be happy to escape his contract, but there is a dearth of obvious suitors? A change of scenery may be ideal, but unless Texas ate a large portion of his contract, a trade is exceedingly unlikely.
  • With the Rangers seven games back in the AL West and five games below .500, the club needs Martin Perez to perform immediately, writes Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. Perez returned from Tommy John surgery this past Friday with a five inning outing. Aside from Yovani Gallardo, the club has received little value from their starters. The team’s starters have combined for a 4.14 ERA – 12th worst in the league. Martin has a career 4.16 ERA and 4.07 FIP.

AL West Notes: Astros, Cueto, A’s, Perez, Young

Though they’ve fallen back to the pack somewhat in recent weeks, the Astros have serious interest in Reds starter Johnny Cueto, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. Cueto sat atop Houston’s list of targets at the end of June, per Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, and Heyman says that still appears to be the case. Needless to say, the veteran righty would provide a huge boost to an Astros team that has received underwhelming results from the back of its rotation, effectively slotting another top-of-the-rotation arm (alongside Dallas Keuchel) into a slot that has been occupied by a revolving door of starters. Houston will obviously face plenty of competition in their pursuit, assuming that Cincinnati puts its ace on the market.

Here’s more from the AL West:

  • The Athletics remain one of the most interesting teams to watch heading into the season’s second half, as they possess several obvious trade pieces but are still not fully buried in the AL West. John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group breaks down the factors weighing in club’s decisionmaking process, noting that GM Billy Beane remains optimistic of his current roster’s quality. A rival American League GM tells Hickey that he doesn’t believe Oakland to be too far back to make a run, and Hickey ultimately concludes that “it seems unlikely to see a mass selloff” as things stand.
  • After welcoming back starter Matt Harrison from a lengthy absence, the Rangers are set to activate fellow left-handed rotation piece Martin Perez on Friday, the club announced. Perez underwent Tommy John surgery last May, at the same point in time that Harrison went down. Now 24, Perez agreed to a four-year, $12.5MM deal with three club options (2018-2020) back in November of 2013. At the time, he was fresh off of a 124 1/3 inning, 3.62 ERA showing in his age-22 season. He has plenty of time to regain his former promise and provide value to the Rangers under that contract.
  • While Rangers GM Jon Daniels said recently that he hopes to add a “complementary right-handed bat,” it remains unclear precisely what players the team could target. MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted in the just-linked piece that now-free agent Delmon Young could make some sense, particularly given that he could likely be had for a relatively meager commitment. Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets that Texas has not yet reached out to Young’s representatives, though of course the 29-year-old has only been on the market for a few days.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Puig, Royals, Rangers, Gray

Dodgers president Andrew Friedman will entertain offers for any player, even Yasiel Puig, reports Ken Rosenthal in his latest video for FOX Sports. The right-handed outfielder is under club control through 2019. He’s paid just $4.5MM this season and $5.5MM in 2016. Puig, 24, provides necessary balance to a lineup that will include left-handers Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, and Corey Seager. The Dodgers would like to add a top young starter, but it would take an awful lot for Puig to be included in a deal. My own personal spit balling – it would take a starter like Matt Harvey to open a conversation. Here’s more from Rosenthal:

  • The Royals rotation ranks 13th in the American League in ERA. Rival executives expect the club to acquire starting pitching at the deadline. Kansas City may have a narrow window for contention. Alex Gordon can opt out of his contract after this season. Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are under club control through 2017. The club does have Danny Duffy and Kris Medlen on the rehab trail, but setbacks are always possible. Personally, I wouldn’t expect them to seek a top pitcher like Cole Hamels or Johnny Cueto. However, I could see them targeting a guy like Aaron Harang.
  • The Rangers could soon find themselves with a surplus of starting pitchers. The club promoted Chi Chi Gonzalez today. Meanwhile, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, and Martin Perez are expected to return at some point this season. As Rosenthal points out, setbacks to that trio would not be surprising. Rather than trading a starter, the club might revisit their previous efforts to acquire Hamels. Texas is just one game below .500 entering this evening.
  • The Athletics are unlikely to deal ace Sonny Gray. At the end of the season, he’ll have the same amount of service time as Josh Donaldson did last winter. However, the A’s still hope to build a contender – if not this season then next. Gray is key cog for Oakland.


West Notes: Perez, Cashner, Ibanez, La Russa

Rangers left-hander Martin Perez underwent his Tommy John surgery earlier today, and everything “went as expected,” writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The surgery was performed by Dr. Keith Meister, who performs most of the club’s surgeries. As the Rangers look to deal with that blow to their rotation, here’s more from baseball’s Western divisions…

  • For the time being, Padres ace Andrew Cashner has avoided joining Perez on the list of series elbow injuries. Cashner underwent an MRI today, and while that test has conditioned the public to fear the worst, GM Josh Byrnes issued the following statement via press release: After performing an MRI today on Andrew’s right elbow, our doctors have indicated to me that he has elbow soreness and irritation. Based on our doctors’ recommendation we will be proceeding with rest and rehabilitation for his recovery.”
  • Though the Angels will soon need to make roster moves to get Kole Calhoun, David Freese and Dane De La Rosa back on the active roster, releasing struggling DH Raul Ibanez isn’t likely, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. General manager Jerry Dipoto wouldn’t say Ibanez will not be released, Gonzalez writes, but he expressed that the team will remain patient and voiced confidence in the aging slugger: Raul has a track record. He has done this before. He has gone through cold spells, and he has gotten hot. There’s nobody here who believes Raul has had his last good days in the big leagues.”
  • Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall “can hardly stop pinching [himself]” after the team’s hiring of Tony La Russa as its new chief baseball officer, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. La Russa drew interest from multiple clubs for an executive role and turned down at least one offer, feeling that he wasn’t needed with that team, Heyman adds. He also writes that manager Kirk Gibson has close to a clean slate following the La Russa hire, and that La Russa will give Gibson and GM Kevin Towers until at least season’s end to help get the Snakes back on track.

Martin Perez To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

SATURDAY: Perez will have his Tommy John procedure on Monday, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

THURSDAY, 6:56pm: Perez’s agent, Felix Olivo, tells Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish that the decision to undergo Tommy John is not yet final (Twitter link). Olivo says that he and Perez will meet with Rangers GM Jon Daniels before making their ultimate decision, but the likelihood of Tommy John is very high.

5:05pm: Rangers lefty Martin Perez has decided to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, the pitcher himself told Marcos Grunfeld of Venezuelan newspaper La Vinotinto (Twitter link, with a hat tip to the Dallas Morning News’ Gerry Fraley).

The 23-year-old Perez is the latest in a landslide of Tommy John surgeries and the second Rangers pitcher to go down to the operation this season (lefty reliever Pedro Figueroa underwent the procedure earlier this year). The news is a crushing blow to a Rangers staff that has been bombarded with injuries. Derek Holland is out through the All-Star break, Yu Darvish opened the season on the DL (though he’s healthy now) and Matt Harrison‘s resurgent back injury could now be career-threatening, according to recent reports.

Among the game’s other young starters that have undergone the season-ending operation (or will undergo it) are Jose Fernandez, Jarrod Parker, Patrick CorbinKris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Matt Moore, Ivan Nova, A.J. Griffin and Jameson Taillon.


Martin Perez, Matt Harrison Have Significant Injuries

10:19pm: The team would expect to recover a “significant portion” of Harrison’s $13MM annual salary over 2015-17 in the unfortunate event that he cannot throw due to the injury, Grant adds in an update to his post.

7:51pm: Should Perez try to avoid a TJ procedure, he would sit out for ten to twelve weeks while rehabbing, per an updated report from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Of course, that strategy comes with the risk of delaying his recovery time by that period if he ultimately goes under the knife.

The prospects for Harrison, should he elect surgery, seem fairly grim. “There just aren’t a lot of guys who have had it and come back successfully,” said GM Jon Daniels. “I’m hoping that while the odds might not be good he will be the exception.” Grant does note that an insurance policy on Harrison paid out $2.5MM last year and could afford the club coverage of $6MM of the $8MM salary owed for 2014. The report does not indicate how the policy impacts the future years of the deal.

In terms of dealing with the injuries, Daniels said that the team is going to stick with internal options for the time being. “We will look to ride it out,” he said. “We might consider the trade market at some point, but right now, we’ll look to ride it out.”

6:02pm: Two key Rangers starters — lefties Martin Perez and Matt Harrison — have significant injuries that could result in long DL stints, reports Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (Twitter links).

Perez, 23, has a partial UCL tear in his left elbow. While he is weighing the possibility of resting and pitching through the injury, a Tommy John procedure is on the table.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Harrison has another serious back issue (called spondylolisthesis) that could require a form of spinal fusion surgery. He, too, could potentially try to throw without surgery. However, if it becomes necessary, the procedure could potentially be career-threatening, according to a tweet from Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

The pair of hurlers had been expected to be key rotation pieces in Texas for the long haul. Perez was signed this November to a four-year, $12.5MM extension, which includes club options for 2018 through 2020. Harrison inked his own, even larger deal before the 2013 season. The extension, which covers the 2013 through 2017 campaigns and comes with a club option, guarantees him $55MM.

Needless to say, even if both Perez and Harrison see enough to gain in attempting to avoid surgery, the news clouds the outlook this year for a club that has already been hit hard by injuries. With fellow long-term commit Derek Holland still working back from his own serious knee injury, there are plenty of questions in the staff outside of ace Yu Darvish. While the rotation has fared reasonably well by measure of fWAR to date, it ranks fourth from the bottom in the league in terms of earned run average. Sitting at .500, Texas now seems an obvious potential pitching buyer over the summer — if, that is, the team can stay within striking distance.

Of course, the downside scenarios — a one-year plus recovery for Perez, and an uncertain rehabilitation process for Harrison — could have major implications for the franchise’s trajectory. Texas has committed significant future payroll (through extensions, free agency, and trades), and certainly is built to win in the immediate future. Lacking surefire pitching prospects who appear ready to step into the MLB rotation, Texas could face some tough decision-making if Perez and Harrison are gone for extended periods of time.


AL West Notes: Perez, Young, Nady

Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez could be headed to the disabled list with elbow inflammation, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets. That’s another potential blow to a Rangers team that has struggled to keep its starters healthy. The Rangers’ rotation currently includes Yu Darvish, Robbie Ross, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis along with Perez. Three other potential starters, Derek Holland, Joe Saunders and Tanner Scheppers, are on the DL. Here are more notes from the AL West.

  • Randy Wolf and the Mariners had a falling-out this spring over Wolf’s refusal to sign a 45-day advanced-consent relief form that would have allowed the Mariners to cut Wolf within the first six weeks of the season without paying his full year’s salary. Chris Young signed one, though, and he appears to have none of the issues Wolf did, MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby reports. “A club can release you at any point,” Young says. “That just protects them financially if you don’t perform. … I was confident I’d be successful. You can’t [go in preparing] for the worst.” Young has posted a 2.63 ERA in 37 2/3 innings so far with the Mariners, although with only 4.3 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.
  • The Padres recently designated outfielder Xavier Nady for assignment, and he just elected to become a free agent. The Mariners could be interested in him, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News-Tribune tweets. The 35-year-old appeared in 22 games for San Diego, his first big-league stint since 2012. He played at the Triple-A level in 2013, hitting .296/.360/.456 in 495 plate appearances divided between Omaha and Colorado Springs.

Rangers Sign Martin Perez To Four-Year Deal

Don't expect to hear Martin Perez's name on the rumor circuit anytime soon. The Rangers announced Thursday that they have agreed to a four-year deal with their 22-year-old left-hander. Perez-MartinThe contract reportedly guarantees Perez $12.5MM and contains three club options, meaning that Texas will have the ability to control Perez, a client of Felix Olivo's OL Baseball Group, through the 2020 season. 

Perez receives a $1MM signing bonus and will earn $750K in 2014. He'll be paid $1MM in 2015 and $2.9MM in 2016 — a year that would've been his first arbitration eligible season. Perez will earn $4.4MM in 2017, and the 2018 club option is valued at $6MM with a $2.45MM buyout. The Rangers hold a second club option for 2019 at $7.5MM (with a $750K buyout), and the 2020 option is for $9MM ($250K buyout). All told, Perez can earn $32.55MM over the life of the contract. The extension came together in less than two weeks, Olivo told MLBTR owner Tim Dierkes.

Perez, who turns 23 next April, posted strong numbers in his first extended taste of Major League action, compiling a 3.62 ERA with 6.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 48.1 percent ground-ball rate in 124 1/3 innings (20 starts). Long hailed as a top Rangers prospect and one of the game's best pitching prospects, Perez ranked on Baseball America's Top 100 list for five consecutive years entering this season.

Perez is the third left-hander to receive an extension for the Rangers in the past three years, as Derek Holland signed a five-year, $28.5MM extension prior to the 2012 season and Matt Harrison signed a five-year, $55MM extension prior to the 2013 campaign. As MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows, Harrison and Holland signed their contracts with four-plus and two-plus years of service time, which explains the discrepancy between their guarantees and Perez's guarantee. This extension will buy out a pair of pre-arbitration seasons as well as Perez's first two arbitration years. The club options cover his final year of arbitration eligibility and his first two seasons of free agency.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels seems to have followed the mold for extensions signed by Cory Luebke with the Padres, Wade Davis with the Rays and Brett Anderson with the A's. While three club options may typically seem to be particularly team-friendly, it's fair to point out that all three of those players would be considerably worse off had they not signed the deal, thus illustrating the benefit of opting for financial security. And, even if all three options are exercised, Perez will be able to hit free agency upon completion of his age-29 season, meaning he would still be in line for a significant free agent contract.

With this agreement, it seems that Perez can be penciled into the Rangers rotation for years to come alongside Holland, Harrison and ace Yu Darvish — an enviable collection of arms around which to build a team.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was the first to report the $12.5MM guarantee (on Twitter). Joel Sherman of the New York Post added that roughly $2.5MM of that was a buyout on the option's first year (on Twitter). Perez's agent told MLBTR's Tim Dierkes the contract came together in less than two weeks (Twitter link). MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan provided the final breakdown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Rangers Claim Alex Rios; Trade Unlikely

FRIDAY: A source involved in the trade talks between the two sides told Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio that the chances of a deal are "smaller than a bread basket."

THURSDAY, 4:51pm: A trade is unlikely to be reached, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Prior to the deadline, the White Sox were interested in lefty Martin Perez, right-hander Luke Jackson and infielder Rougned Odor, and the Rangers aren't keen on giving up those players in a trade for Rios.

3:29pm: The Rangers and White Sox "weren't even close" on an agreement when discussing Rios prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Knobler also tweets that Rios was placed on waivers on Monday, and the deadline to work out a deal for him is tomorrow. That would suggest that Rios was claimed earlier in the week, but the news only broke today.

2:45pm: The Rangers are the team that claimed Rios, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). Grant cautions that claiming Rios and actually striking a deal to acquire the 32-year-old are very different things.

12:58pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Alex Rios has been claimed on revocable waivers by an unknown team (Twitter link).

Because he is on revocable waivers, the White Sox have 48 hours to work out a trade with the claiming team or pull him back off waivers.  Chicago could also let the claiming team have Rios for nothing and be content to dump his salary — the very manner in which Chicago acquired Rios from the Blue Jays in 2009 — but that seems unlikely given his .277/.328/.421 batting line. Rios is controlled through 2014 and owed $12.5MM next season with a $13.5MM club option, though each of those salaries will increase by $500K if he is traded.

It seems likely that an American League team was awarded the claim on Rios, as waiver priority at this point in the season is determined by league and record. All 15 AL teams would have the opportunity to claim Rios before an NL team. The Rangers and Pirates were both connected to Rios prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.


Matt Garza Rumors: Tuesday

On January 8th, 2011, the previous Cubs front office led by GM Jim Hendry finalized a trade that brought Matt Garza (and Fernando Perez and Zach Rosscup) to Chicago from the Rays for Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld, and Brandon Guyer.  At the time, ESPN's Buster Olney heard that Andrew Friedman and the Rays "didn't get much in the way of high-end prospects; more depth type guys than impact."  Archer, 24, seems ready to challenge that evaluation as a member of the Rays' rotation, while Lee, a 22-year-old shortstop, was knocking on the door of the Majors until a knee injury ended his season in April.  It's clear now the Cubs gave up a huge haul to acquire three years of Garza; now their new regime is marketing the remaining two to three months of his services to recoup as much young talent as possible.  The latest:

  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports echoes Sullivan's earlier report that the Rangers aren't willing to include Martin Perez in a trade for Garza. The Red Sox are said to be "thinking about" Garza and would be a major threat if they entered the fray, according to Heyman. Boston has many pitching prospects acquired by Theo Epstein during his time as the team's GM. The Diamondbacks are in the mix as well, though they may prefer Jake Peavy. The Cubs are likely to place more emphasis on ceiling than proximity to the Major Leagues, according to Heyman, with a slight preference for pitching as opposed to position players.

Earlier Updates

  • The Rangers, Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Blue Jays, and Dodgers "are the strongest pursuers" with a handful of other teams showing at least cursory interest in Garza, writes David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.  A handful of club executives who spoke to Kaplan consider Garza a very strong No. 3 starter, for whom the Cubs have an "exceptionally high" asking price.  Kaplan adds that the Rangers and Blue Jays "are both deciding how far they want to go to acquire Garza."  Kaplan's baseball personnel experts feel the Cubs will come close but fall short of the Brewers' Zack Greinke package from last summer, which consisted of shortstop Jean Segura and pitchers Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena.  Complicating that comparison is the fact that Segura raised his stock considerably this year; at the time of the deal, Baseball America ranked him 43rd among prospects and ESPN's Keith Law had him outside of his top 50.
  • Baseball America's midseason top 50 prospects list came out last week.  Prospects in the 35-50 range who play for potential Garza suitors include Joc Pederson of the Dodgers, Anthony Ranaudo and Garin Cecchini of the Red Sox, Alen Hanson of the Pirates, Aaron Sanchez of the Blue Jays, Mike Olt of the Rangers, Kolten Wong of the Cardinals, and Adam Eaton of the Diamondbacks.  Kaplan notes that the Rangers are "thought to be dangling" Olt, a third baseman.  A lot of the position players named here either seem unlikely to be traded or aren't great fits for the Cubs, who might prefer to get a pitcher as the headliner.
  • The personnel heads who spoke to Joel Sherman of the New York Post picture Garza going to the Rangers, who have the need and the goods to make a deal.  22-year-old southpaw Martin Perez "could be a key element for the Cubs to move Garza to Texas," writes Sherman.  The Rangers are not going to give up Perez, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  He names Neil Ramirez, Carlos Pimentel, Leury Garcia, and Luis Sardinas as more realistic possibilities.