The Minnesota Twins have signed lefty Martin Perez to a one-year contract with a club option for the 2020 season. The deal will guarantee Perez $4MM by way of a $3.5MM salary for 2019 as well as a $500k buyout on the 2020 club option. Perez can also earn an additional $100k for every innings pitched milestone of 135, 145, 155, 165, 175. The option year starts at $7.5MM but escalates to $8MM if he reaches 170 innings and maxes out at $8.5MM if he reaches 180 innings pitched this season.
Perez, 27, has spent his entire seven season big league career with the Texas Rangers. A native of Venezuela, Perez was once viewed as a top prospect in the minors but never really panned out at the major league level. Injuries have plagued the southpaw over his career as he missed a significant amount of time due to the dreaded Tommy John surgery. Perez has only made 30+ starts twice in his career and only pitched in 125+ innings in a season twice which happened to be the same two campaigns. His ERA has been below 4.00 only one time in his career and it was not in the two seasons that saw him make those 30+ starts. Perez is not a strikeout pitcher but instead a contact pitcher which would explain some of those ugly numbers. He is able to induce the ground ball fairly often which is the reason his home run totals are not higher then they are. Perez will be looking to have a better year then last year in which he pitched to a career worst 6.22 ERA and saw him lose his spot in the rotation, finishing the season out of the bullpen instead.
The Twins have added a few bats this off season but this is one of the first pitchers the team has acquired. Perez will join righty Michael Pineda in making their debut for the team this season. Pineda was signed to a two-year deal last off season while recovering from an injury but never made it on the field for the Twins last season due to a set back. Those two will join Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, and Kyle Gibson as the most probable rotation options in Minnesota. Lefties Adalberto Mejia and Stephen Gonsalves also have experience and will compete for a spot in Spring Training. There is still time left before pitchers and catchers report so other possible rotation options may be thrown into the mix before the regular season gets underway.