Pérez receives qualifying offer from Rangers
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have extended left-hander Martín Pérez the one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer as expected on Thursday. The deadline for Pérez to accept the qualifying offer is Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT.
The lefty is coming off a career year in his second stint with Texas, making his first career All-Star Game appearance while posting a career-best 2.89 ERA over 196 1/3 innings. It was just the 12th time a Rangers pitcher has ended a season with a qualifying ERA below 3.00, and he joined Yu Darvish in 2013 as the only Texas starters to have a sub-3.00 ERA with at least 195 innings.
Pérez, at 31 years old, wasn’t expected to get a long-term extension, but he hoped for a multiyear offer coming off an All-Star season. The qualifying offer would be a significant upgrade from the one-year, $4 million deal he signed entering the 2022 season.
“We would welcome Martín back, and I'm hopeful to get something done,” general manager Chris Young said this week. “Martín had a tremendous year and obviously is going to have value in the market. He understands that, and we're trying to decide the best way to proceed, but we're certainly hopeful to get Martín as a Ranger. He’s someone that had a tremendous year for us, and we really welcome the opportunity to bring him back.”
“We remain hopeful that Martín will be a part of the Rangers’ organization in 2023,” Young added in a statement on Thursday.
In his second stint with the Rangers, Pérez put together the full season the club expected from him during his original seven-year stretch at the beginning of his MLB career.
The Rangers signed Pérez in 2007 as an international free agent out of Venezuela. During that first stint with Texas, he posted a 4.63 ERA with a 1.48 WHIP but never quite reached his full potential as the club’s former No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline.
There wasn’t one thing that stood out for Pérez’s resurgence this season, but he credits it to his maturity and growth on the mound as he became a stabilizing force for the Rangers' staff.
“I have the talent, and I have the pitches,” Pérez said after his final start of the season. “I know how to pitch, and I just had to keep strong and get zeros on the board, because like I said, I'm just going to give good moments to my teammates and try to win the game.
"But I was not expecting this. It was not easy, because there have been a lot of downs. But I try to be positive and try to have fun with my teammates. … I’m just really happy with my season.”
The left-hander continually noted his desire to return to Texas throughout the season, even as the club contemplated dealing him at the Trade Deadline.
With Jon Gray and recent trade acquisition Jake Odorizzi as their only established starting pitchers, bringing back Pérez would be a perfect next step for the Rangers going into 2023. Texas figures to remain active on both the free-agent and trade markets to add more starting pitching as the offseason continues.