Red Sox sign Martin Perez

DeadlySplitter

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Oct 20, 2015
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underwhelming signing for me. his ERA+ was 76 in 2018, 90 last year. career WHIP of nearly 1.5.

I know this is our 5th starter, but meh, 6M seems like too much for this guy.
 

Hank Scorpio

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Guy was pretty good from 2013-2016, mediocre in 2017 - and downright horrendous in 2018 and 2019. He can eat some innings, but I'm not seeing much to be optimistic about with this signing.

Edit: And if it is indeed for $6M, this makes no sense to me. Might as well cycle in some journeyman AAA filler who can be had for close to the league minimum. I'd be more excited if the Red Sox coaxed Jamie Moyer out of retirement.
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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Why sign him? I thought the goal was to save money.

I'd rather throw a AAAA guy out there.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I don't get it. Not at that price point. Maybe they think he can revert back to a league average pitcher. The AAAA guys didn't really work out this year either.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Wow we just spent $9 million for a crappy pitcher and a utility infielder. So much for trimming costs and being smart with money.
 

curly2

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What the hell? $6 million? Is there any reason to expect him to be better than Brian Johnson?

I'm looking at his stats and can't find anything redeeming. It's not like he found something last season. He was MUCH worse in the second half.

This makes no sense.
 

chawson

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Hmm. Not psyched but Perez had a serious velocity uptick last year and then wore down after the all-star break. My guess is he’ll be used as a Jalen Beeks-style bulk guy going three or four innings after an opener like Hembree or Houck.

Remember, Perez will also be helped by Vazquez, who’s a many times better pitch framer than Mitch Garver.
 

Hank Scorpio

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I'm guessing the thought process here is the Red Sox should hit enough to mask his bad pitching, and hopefully he'll eat up 160-180 innings in the process? He did go 10-7 with the Twins last year, which was a 95 win pace.

More to the point, he only had 4 or 5 "bad" starts last year - but tons of okay/mediocre/poor starts (i.e. 5-6 innings, 3-5 runs), with a few good/great starts mixed in. Those middling starts are probably good enough for our #5 starter, but extrapolated over a season, they're not going to look very good on paper. I'd like this signing more if I had more faith in the current bullpen.
 

chawson

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Actually Garver was way better at pitch framing last year, which I only know because the Yankees recently hired the guy who fixed him, Tanner Swanson.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mitch-garver-wasnt-catching-strikes-so-he-changed-his-catching-stance/amp/
Interesting, hadn’t seen that. Still, according to this, he was below average, albeit slightly, and especially on anything up in the zone, where lefties with good changeups like Perez have to tunnel their fastballs.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/catcher_framing
 
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curly2

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Yes, he got $4 million last year, had a bad year, and the Sox give him a $2 million raise. I'm sure Chaim Bloom is much smarter than I am -- most people are -- but it seems like too much for a team trying to cut payroll.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Aug 15, 2006
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Maybe they see something that we don't? Maybe they can fix the cutter? Trying to rationalize not just spending the extra 4 mil and getting back the devil we know (porcello) or getting someone who is cheaper.
 

BigSoxFan

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This feels like an overpay for a pretty awful pitcher. I’ll give Bloom the benefit of the doubt here but, man, two underwhelming signings to kick things off. Looking forward to seeing what trades he can cook up.
 

Murderer's Crow

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This feels like an overpay for a pretty awful pitcher. I’ll give Bloom the benefit of the doubt here but, man, two underwhelming signings to kick things off. Looking forward to seeing what trades he can cook up.
If he's a pitcher who performs well in the first half, then he's trade bait. Perhaps the idea here to refill the farm is to find a couple guys who will have mid-season value?
 

Stanley Steamer

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I like the mystery of it all. In order to get a good team under budget, he has to shop the bargain bin, yet still find value, which can be production, or return in trade. I'm hopeful Bloom is finding skill where we can't see it. Some will make good, some will fail. What will be the sum of it?
 

allmanbro

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Optimistically: according to SIERRA, Perez was a very similar pitcher to Porcello last year. Porcello 4.86 SIERRA over 174 IP, Perez 5.01 SIERRA over 165 IP. I think the main reason this move worries me is the Price trade rumors. I'd love Perez as a #6. Failing that, replacing Porcello with Perez is a fine "small step down" if you can add more elsewhere. But it doesn't seem likely they'll get a #2/3 elsewhere. Maybe Bloom/the scouts see something more. Perez was great for the first half. And this is really early to add a guy with his record.

Edit: I use SIERRA as the optimistic measure, because even in his awful 2018, Perez only had a 5.11 SIERRA (6.22 ERA/85 IP)
 

DaubachmanTurnerOD

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Maybe Bloom somehow got the idea that working for a big market team means getting the same fringe guys but just paying them a bunch more money?

(Slightly more seriously - how frustrating it must be for Bloom to be finally working for a monied franchise, but then be told he‘s not allowed to spend any money and instead has to trim payroll way back?)
 

nvalvo

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I've been poking through his stats, and I have to say, I don't really get it. It will certainly be interesting to see what Chaim and the gang try to turn him into.

I few things I learned poking around: It does look as though his pitch mix was different in 2019 with the Twins than it had been with the Rangers. They shelved his slider, or maybe mutated it into a cutter. He had tried to throw the slider to get chases, but... nobody chased it. In 2019, he threw the cutter a third of the time, with mixed results.

Also, Perez has given up some crazy BABIPs in his day. And while the 2019 version gave up a .279 BA, his statcast-based xBA allowed would have only been .248. That, combined with the lack of hard contact, suggests that he may have been even more unlucky than a .318 BABIP makes it look.

So just maybe a bit more repertoire tinkering could help him be decent.

(The 2019 Twins were a mediocre defensive club, 21st of 30. Boston was pretty good at 9th.)
 

jon abbey

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I thought you guys were referencing the Sale trade or Price signing or something like that, but this is much funnier, kudos.
 

BaseballJones

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This feels like an overpay for a pretty awful pitcher. I’ll give Bloom the benefit of the doubt here but, man, two underwhelming signings to kick things off. Looking forward to seeing what trades he can cook up.
$9 million for two pretty bad players.

Woohoo. The Bloom is already off the rose?

I kid. Kind of. But this isn the start I was hoping for.

Definitely is a nice way to counter the Cole signing by NY.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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$9 million for two pretty bad players.

Woohoo. The Bloom is already off the rose?

I kid. Kind of. But this isn the start I was hoping for.

Definitely is a nice way to counter the Cole signing by NY.
I personally think Peraza could be pretty good. 2018 was a solid year. He's also only 25 so if he hits he's a better fit for this core going forward than Holt.

This one I don't really know about. In May he was getting very lucky and it made it look as if Perez was breaking out due to increased velocity. Might be a good RP. But I'm not really sure this is the David Price replacement that we are looking for.
 

iddoc

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Nov 17, 2006
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Indeed a bit puzzling, but we won’t find sure things at this price. Perhaps they see his role as Beeks (as suggested above) or Pomeranz (reliever version), in which case the price seems a bit steep.
 

chawson

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I think it’s valuable to the team to have a guy in hand so that they don’t have to focus on getting major league ready pitching back in any Price deal or otherwise. And it’s pretty rare the Sox sign a FA starting pitcher in a short deal (that’s not a midseason hail mary). The last one was Masterson.

Secondly, Perez may have more upside than we’re crediting. His changeup and cutter were well above average pitches last year, and his 2-seamers and 4-seamers could certainly improve with BABIP regression and better defense, which the Sox have over the Twins.

His individual pitches compare well to other mid-range free agent starters like Porcello, Roark, Teheran, Cashner, and even Dallas Keuchel, according to this nifty table by Alex Chamberlain. The Keuchel comparison is a nice challenge actually. I wouldn’t necessarily bet Perez will be better, but there’s a good chance they’ll be even, and Perez is probably a tenth of the cost.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/chamb117#!/vizhome/PitchLeaderboardPublic/PitchesOutcomes
 

richgedman'sghost

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This feels like an overpay for a pretty awful pitcher. I’ll give Bloom the benefit of the doubt here but, man, two underwhelming signings to kick things off. Looking forward to seeing what trades he can cook up.
The Bloom is definitely off the rose. So far Chaim has had a horrendous start to his Red Sox tenure. Martin Perez is a vast overpay for his talent level.
 

sean1562

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Sep 17, 2011
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the guys whole MO is recognizing undervalued talent. insane that you think he is wrong about these guys before they even play a game in a red sox uniform. I'll trust the process for at least two seasons before throwing the guy under the bus
 
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shaggydog2000

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the guys whole MO is recognizing undervalued talent. insane that you think he is wrong about these giys before they even play a game in a red sox uniform. ll trust the process for at least two seasons before throwing the guy under the bus
At least wait until he gives up his first run in spring training.
 

johnnywayback

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I don't know what people were expecting. They want to cut a huge amount of salary in 2020 and still maximize their chances of competing. That points to a high-variance strategy where they replace guys like Price and Holt with cheaper guys who have the potential to outperform their salaries.