Martin Perez was told late Wednesday that the Texas Rangers will likely not be picking up his $7.5 million club option for 2019, and before their 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers was informed that he will finish this season in the bullpen.
The left-hander said that both turns in his career caught him by surprise, but he acknowledged that his performance this season hasn’t been good enough. Perez, whose season was derailed early by an off-season injury to his right elbow, said that the Rangers would consider re-signing him this off-season for less money.
“I can say a lot of things, but I’m just going to go do my job,” Perez said. “I know who I am and what I can do from the starting rotation. I have to respect their decision. I didn’t expect this, but I just have to finish strong.”
General manager Jon Daniels clarified what Perez was told. Daniels said that as things stand, the Rangers won’t be picking up the option. The Rangers believe that Perez’s stuff might play better in shorter stints, and they will have a need for left-handed relief help next season.
“We told Martin that if the decision had to be made today, we probably wouldn’t exercise the option,” Daniels said. “It’s possible we could still work something out for him to continue his career here. Martin’s always had great talent and a great arm. We want to take this time to evaluate him in a bullpen role, where he’s got a chance to excel.”
Perez, 27, is 2-6 with a 6.95 ERA after allowing four runs in five innings Saturday against the San Francisco Giants. All four runs came in the first inning. Since coming off the disabled list July 13, Perez is 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA in eight starts.