Red Sox decline 2021 option on Martin Perez
Welcome to free agency, baseball fans! We are now in the full swing of the offseason and moments ago teams ran into the deadline for activating options, as well as, making qualifying offers. For the Red Sox, that means they had to decide whether or not they wanted to bring back southpaw Martin Perez on his $6.25M option. Right at the 5 pm deadline, the team made the announcement that they would be declining his option, effectively making him a free agent.
Perez signed with Boston last winter and quickly became beloved by members of Red Sox Nation. He’s a guy that has always had loads of potential but never seemingly put the puzzle together from start to finish. This past season was no different but even with a few missteps, he was by far the most consistent starter that the Red Sox trotted out all year. His 3-5 record may not be pretty but his 4.50 ERA through 62IP was one of the few pitching bright spots for Boston in 2020.
Obviously, he wasn’t perfect this season but more often than not you knew exactly what you were going to get from a Perez start and it was far better than many that Boston trotted out. When he was signed he was joining a starting rotation of Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Nathan Eovaldi.
By the time that Opening Day rolled around, he and Eovaldi were the only ones left standing. Like Bruce Wayne seeing the bat symbol in the skies, Perez donned the mask and cape and became a hero for this pitching staff.
It was more than just his efforts on the mound this year for Boston that got the fans on the “Perez Day” war wagon, it was also his personality. Here’s a guy that was with this team for less than a full season thanks to COVID and you would’ve thought the Sox had drafted and developed him throughout his entire career.
Look no further than his recent visit to Barstool Sports’ “Section 10 Podcast,” he was damn electric. He was just supporting his current team, he sounded like he was ready to go to battle for the Red Sox and meant every word he said.
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This winter is going to be pretty weird as far as free agency is concerned. With teams not seeing the revenues that they’re used to due to COVID, players aren’t going to be seeing those big paydays. For Perez and the Red Sox, this may be the plan. Though the $6.25M may seem like a bargain, if they’re able to come to terms on a new deal in free agency that brings him back for a lower AAV, then that’s a win-win. I doubt that Chaim Bloom and his squad would completely undercut Perez in negotiations, but a more team-friendly salary could definitely be offered.
We still have zero ideas of when Sale will make his return from Tommy John surgery or how Rodriguez will heal from his battle with COVID and Myocarditis. So having a reliable arm like Martin’s in the rotation to at least start the season would be something that I thought the Red Sox would jump at. But again, with the uncertainty of this offseason’s market, they may be able to come to terms on a deal that will bring him back for less money, allowing Boston to spend more elsewhere.
I’ve never once been shy about my support of Perez. I’ll also admit that I didn’t know much about him ahead of him signing with the Red Sox but was quickly won over. Not only did he perform well in spring training and summer camp, but he did whatever Ron Roenicke asked him to do every fifth day. He’s one hell of a teammate and will be a great addition wherever he lands, hopefully, back with Boston in a perfect world. Bottom line is, in a season that was pretty dim, Martin Perez was one hell of a bright light. Thanks for giving it your all 54!