A's, Rangers look at future in final series

ARLINGTON, Texas -- While the 2017 season is lost for both the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics, both clubs are doing their best to secure their futures.

Rangers left-hander Martin Perez (12-12, 4.83 ERA), who will make his final start of the season Friday against Oakland right-hander Raul Alcantara (1-1, 6.86), will have the option for his contract next season picked up.

The club will pay Perez $6 million in 2018.

Oakland took things a step further with manager Bob Melvin, who had his contract extended for the 2019 season Thursday.

Picking up the option on Perez was a no-brainer for the Rangers, who have only one other starter locked in for next season, left-hander Cole Hamels.

Perez will be making his club-high 32nd start Friday, which is one shy of his career high. He finishing on a high, too, going 7-2 with a 3.63 ERA over his past 10 starts to lower his ERA from 5.46 to its current mark.

The Rangers also have options for him for 2019 and 2020. While Perez said he is happy to know he will be pitching for Texas next year, he is more focused on Friday and helping Texas end a season-high, seven-game losing streak.

"Pitch and compete, that's it," Perez said. "It's going to be my last start this year, so I'm going to give it everything. I want to go into the offseason on a positive note and start getting ready for next year."

The recent run by Perez included a seven-start winning streak. However, Perez has lost two of his past three starts, including an 8-1 defeat to Oakland that came in his latest start on Sunday. Perez allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings, and he is 1-2 with a 5.93 in three starts against the A's this season. For his career, Perez is 6-7 with a 5.29 ERA in 15 starts against Oakland.

Melvin, who is third all-time in club history with 535 wins since taking over on an interim basis in 2011, has a contract that runs the same length as those of club vice president of business operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst.

"It puts me on the same timetable as Billy and David, and we've been together for a while as a group," Melvin said. "So that makes me feel particularly good. But if it was one day or 10 years, it doesn't affect the way I do my job here. I appreciate that everyone has enough faith in me to keep me around for another year."

While Melvin has a contract for at least two more seasons, Alcantara is pitching to show he belongs in Oakland's future plans.

His 2017 season has included two stints with the A's and being designated for assignment after a disastrous start to the season. However, Alcantara has been effective with Oakland in September. In four appearances (two starts), he is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA this month. He baffled the Rangers last Saturday, pitching five innings and allowing just two hits in picking up the win in a 1-0 shutout.

Alcantara has made four career starts against Texas and is 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in those games. This season, he is 1-1 with a 10.29 ERA against Rangers in two starts.
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