Martin Perez is betting on himself in 2023 by taking the qualifying offer
After posting a career year in 2022, Martin Perez is returning to the Texas Rangers for the 2023 season.
Perez is accepting the one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer, a move which seemed far from certain after initial extension talks broke off between the two sides, leading to this point. But ultimately, the high AAV proved too tempting for the veteran southpaw to pass up.
Martin Perez accepted the qualifying offer to return to the Texas Rangers in 2023
Perez had a 2.89 ERA in 32 starts for the Texas Rangers in 2022, earning his first career All-Star Game nod and effectively filling in as the team’s ace despite entering the year with a career ERA well above four. But as the Rangers have done so well with Lance Lynn, Mike Minor and Kyle Gibson in recent years, they unlocked Perez’ long untapped potential at age 31.
This time, though, they’re keeping their pitcher reclamation project around for at least another year.
Perez is essentially betting on himself for 2023, taking a one-year deal at a high annual salary rather than a multi-year contract which he was thought to be desiring. Ultimately, no team was going to offer more per season than the one-year Qualifying Offer, and Perez came to this realization in accepting the latter.
It’s not hard to understand why other teams would’ve paused in offering Perez a lucrative multi-year deal: his career ERA is still 4.43 and prior to 2022, hadn’t had an ERA of under 4.30 since 2013. Regression, in some form, is likely incoming for the lefty in 2023. It’ll just be a matter of how much.
In any case, however, the Rangers are returning a key cog to their rotation for 2023, and even at the high annual salary they’ll be paying Perez, it’s just one year. And Perez should be motivated to play up to his 2022 standards in another walk year.
Martin Perez will be back with the Texas Rangers next season. Now with him in the fold, who else will join the club’s starting rotation, alongside newcomer Jake Odorizzi?