The Texas Rangers and starting pitcher Martin Perez have agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep the 22-year old in Dallas until the 2017 season. The contract also has three club options for the 2018-20 seasons. The guaranteed money in the deal is $12.5 million, though the value of the three option years is currently unknown.
Two things immediately jump out to me. Firstly, before the club options go into effect, this extension doesn't buy out all of Perez's arbitration years – he was due to hit free agency after the 2018 season as opposed to the 2017 season. So while the contract will keep Perez a Ranger, Texas really isn't getting a great deal – essentially, they're paying him $11.5 million over his first two arbitration seasons, which actually seems like an above market deal for a pitcher of his caliber.
Secondly, Perez doesn't exactly have a track record that indicates stardom like Matt Moore did when the Rays inked him to a five-year extension (which also had three club options) before the 2012 season. Moore had just 9 1/3 major league innings when he signed that deal, and like Perez's contract, it didn't fully buy out his arbitration years.
But Moore was 22 at the time and coming off of a season split between AA, AAA, and the majors where he struck out 221 in 164 1/3 innings. Perez is 22 and coming off a year split between AAA and the majors where he struck out just 112 and walked 45 in 160 1/3 innings. In 2012, Perez again split the year between AAA and the majors, striking out 94 and walking 71 in 165 innings. His skillset doesn't scream "superstar" to me, and the extension just doesn't seem essential.
Honestly, it's not some sort of huge investment from the Rangers. They're guaranteeing Perez less over the next four years than three of their players will make in 2014 and four of their players will make in 2015. With their new television deal, they can afford this. I just don't think it's an absolute slam dunk. At least it's costing the team substantially less than the Matt Harrison extension.