Red Sox: Familiar faces in free agency could bolster Boston’s lineup

BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Kevin Pillar #5 of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run in the fifth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on July 26, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Kevin Pillar #5 of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run in the fifth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on July 26, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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red sox martin perez
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 28: Martin Perez #42 of the Boston Red Sox prepares to throw against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Fenway Park on August 28, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Former Red Sox LHP Martin Pérez

If you’ve read anything that I’ve written during 2020 then you know that I’m a guy that loves me some Martin Pérez. The lefty was the definition of a low expectation/high return signing this year and I still can’t figure out why the Red Sox haven’t re-signed him yet. I understand not wanting to activate his option as it was a bit high at $6.5M, but surely a deal could be done with a more reasonable salary.

A while ago Pérez was a guest on the Section-10 Podcast and he may go down as one of the best interviews ever. It was basically a love letter to Boston and Red Sox Nation. He also made it clear he hated the Yankees and wanted to finish his career at Fenway Park. Much like Porcello, he’d expressed a willingness to take a homecooked deal in order to remain with the team.

In a season where the Red Sox lost their three best pitchers, Martin proved to be one of the biggest acquisitions ahead of 2020. Despite a 3-5 record, he would be the most consistent starter Boston had this season. Though Nathan Eovaldi edged him out in wins (4), Pérez would lead the team in innings (62), doing what he could to preserve the bullpen when he was able to.

We still don’t know when Chris Sale will be making his return from Tommy John or what shape Eduardo Rodriguez will be in as he’s making his comeback from COVID/myocarditis. We very well could be starting the season similar to 2020 with a very empty starting rotation with just Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, and Nick Pivetta as guarantees.

Bringing back Martin to have another familiar face in the rotation would allow this pitching staff to pick up where it left off but with a better foundation to improve for 2021. It’s no secret that the starters were the worst in the league this past season so it may not seem appealing to bring a member of that staff back. But with the right deal, I’m thinking 3-years/$12M, it would save Boston money and give him the contract that could allow him to end his career with the team.