At this time of the offseason, many clubs are finalizing their decisions on which players are headed North to begin the season. The other focus for ballclubs is examining if anyone should be given an extension. An extension serves one of two purposes, first, to avoid arbitration, or second, to buy out free agency. This article will focus on one player from each team in the American League West who could be primed to receive an extension.
HOUSTON ASTROS: FRAMBER VALDEZ
Framber Valdez has quietly become one of baseball’s best pitchers. For the Astros, part of the reason they could let Justin Verlander leave via free agency is because of Valdez. Houston has been wise with their investments, something expectable from an analytically driven team like the Astros. It doesn’t take much thought to see the logical advantage of signing Framber. Removing the painstaking arbitration process is a positive step for the reigning World Series champions to keep their core intact.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM: SHOHEI OHTANI
In what is the most glaringly “Captain obvious” statement of all time, the LA Angels NEED to sign Shohei Ohtani to a long-term extension. However, saying it and doing it are two different things. With Shohei set to reach free agency following the season and the subsequent record-breaking bidding war, it will spark; it’s doubtful that the Angels will be able to accomplish an extension. That being said, Anaheim must do all it can throughout the season while they have exclusive rights to speak with him.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: PAUL BLACKBURN
The Oakland Athletics aren’t in a position to compete. Several years will pass before the A’s will have a competitive team. It will take too many years to truly consider the process of offering an extension to any of their players. However, if Oakland decided they wanted to approach the topic, Paul Blackburn is the player that should be the focus. Blackburn is a solid pitcher capable of continuing to develop his talents and become the anchor and ace of the next wave of talented Oakland A’s stars.
SEATTLE MARINERS: TEOSCAR HERNANDEZ
Teoscar Hernandez is the prized offseason trade acquisition from the “vitamin GM Jerry DiPoto. Hernandez was a serious presence in the Blue Jays’ lineup and will reprise a similar role in Seattle. The Mariners‘ addition of Teoscar will provide more protection for the Northwest superstar, Julio Rodriguez. T-Mobile Park in Seattle is considered more of a “pitcher’s park.” No field is too big for the powerful right bat of Teoscar Hernandez.
TEXAS RANGERS: MARTIN PEREZ
The Texas Rangers offered Martin Perez the qualifying offer at the outset of the 2022-2023 offseason, which he accepted. Perez has been a solid performer and continues his successful career deep in the heart of Texas. Martin Perez is a quality starter who will provide the Rangers with stability. Keeping Perez in Texas via a long-term extension would be a wise investment for the Rangers. Having a quality left-hander to deal with some of the bigger bats in the division makes it an easy decision. Adding Martin’s seeming desire to remain in Texas makes sense to give Perez an extension.