With the startling production from Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm, both on the outside looking in as spring training began, Rangers lefty Martin Perez isn’t guaranteed a spot in the rotation when he is fully recovered from a fractured forearm suffered in March. Tepesch has a 3.54 ERA in 28 innings and Grimm 2.28 in 23.2 innings.
Perez made his first rehab start today, allowing a run on four hits in three innings with no walks or strikeouts.
Manager Ron Washington on Perez, via ESPN Dallas:
“His job is to go and get ready,” Washington said. “When he’s ready, we’ll make a decision.”
“It’s great that we’re getting our pitching back, it gives us depth,” Washington said. “But it’s gonna come down to what’s best for us and what’s best for the player at the time. Then a decision will be made.”
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.