The Boston Red Sox have agreed to sign free agent left-handed starting pitcher Martin Perez, per multiple reports. It's a one-year, $4.5 million deal with a $6 million option for the 2022 season, reports Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. The deal is done, pending a physical.
Perez, 29, was 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA (104 ERA+) in 12 starts for the Red Sox last season in the pandemic-shortened season. He worked 62 innings, leading the Red Sox in starts and innings, though he only struck out 46 against 28 walks. The low strikeout rate and 1.34 WHIP aren't exactly frontline stuff, but the Red Sox were seeking rotation depth here.
Even after Chris Sale returns from Tommy John surgery (he had the procedure in late March of 2020, so figure about the middle of the summer for a return), only Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodriguez are surefire bets ahead of Perez in the rotation, though youngster Tanner Houck is very likely to hold down a spot as well. After that it's Matt Andriese and Nick Pivetta. Keep in mind Rodriguez had a heart issue last season as well.
As such, the fit here is rather obvious. Perez is someone who can be counted on to eat innings and bolster the middle or back of the rotation.
The impact on the starting pitching market here is minimal, as Perez is a mid-rotation starter at best.
Word around the league is the Red Sox were looking to bring in at least two starters from outside the organization this winter, so the Perez signing doesn't mean they are done seeking rotation depth.