The Minnesota Twins officially announced the signing of Martin Perez to a one-year, $3.5 million deal yesterday. The deal includes a club option worth $7.5 million or a $500,000 buy-out next year as well. There are a few incentives included in the deal: the club option can reach $8 million if he pitches 170 innings this year or $8.5 million if he reaches the 180-inning mark. With his salary for this season, Perez has the ability to earn an additional $100,000 when he reaches 135, 145, 155, 165, and 175 innings pitched.
Perez is looking for a bounce-back year after an injury-plagued 2018 due to elbow surgery in his non-throwing (right) elbow. During last season, Perez posted a 6.22 ERA in 22 games (15 starts) and 85.1 innings pitched. He was tagged with 59 earned runs, allowing 16 homers and a WHIP of 1.781. The seasons before that show some promise as he started over 30 games in each of the 2016 and 2017 campaigns, pitching 185 innings both years, but still having some possible control issues. He does not have strikeout stuff (career 5.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 10 H/9), but with the incentive-laden contract, Perez lines up to be a back-of-the-rotation starter for the Twins going into this season.
The corresponding move by the Twins to allow Perez to be added to the 40-man roster was to designate Chase De Jong for assignment. De Jong came to the Twins via trade with the Mariners for Zach Duke in July of this past season. De Jong made four starts with the big-league club in September with a 3.57 ERA, 17.2 innings pitched, 7 earned runs, and a 1.358 WHIP. In parts of three years in AAA (Twins, Mariners, and Dodgers), he pitched to a 4.97 ERA in 23 games (21 starts) and 128.2 innings pitched.