Should the St. Louis Cardinals target Rangers left-hander Martin Perez? Absolutely. But acquiring him may not be easy.
The St. Louis Cardinals need another starting pitcher. That much is clear. But who might they target?
The names that they have been linked to early on – Oakland A’s right-hander Frankie Montas and the Cincinnati Reds’ Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle – all come with questions. With Montas and Mahle, it’s right shoulder ailments that have put Mahle on the Injured List and resulted in Montas needing a cortisone shot. Castillo, meanwhile, is healthy, but has dealt with an assortment of injuries throughout his career.
Before this, I was of the belief that Montas (too expensive) and Mahle and Castillo (play for division rival) would be unlikely targets. One arm that would make sense is Texas Rangers left-hander Martin Perez, who was deemed by Jim Bowden of The Athletic as a logical target.
The question however, is whether the Rangers will even entertain trading Perez. On the surface, they should. He’s signed to a one-year contract, the Rangers are 37-43 and are unlikely to make the postseason, and he has a 2.34 ERA and a 3 WAR through 16 starts in what is easily the best season of his career. He’s the classic “sell high” type of player.
But the Rangers prefer to extend Perez rather than trade him, so there’s a real chance that he won’t even hit the market. If he does, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak should pick up the phone. Perez would give them another left-hander in the rotation, is signed cheaply (only $4 million this season) and would not require the Cardinals to part with any of their top prospects.
It makes almost too much sense for the Cardinals. It’s surely something that Mozeliak and the front office will explore over the next month. But there’s a real chance they won’t have the chance to acquire him just because Texas wants to keep him long-term.