ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — All-Star left-hander Martin Pérez accepted a $19.65 million qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers before Tuesday’s deadline.
Pérez returned to the Rangers on a $4 million contract before the start of spring training earlier this year. He went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in 32 starts.
Of the 14 MLB players who had qualifying offers from their teams, only Pérez and San Francisco outfielder Joc Pederson accepted. The remaining 12 are free agents.
The decision by Pérez came a week after the Rangers acquired starter Jake Odorizzi in a trade from the Atlanta Braves. Texas also returns Jon Gray, who was 7-7 with a 3.96 ERA while starting 24 games in the first season of the $56 million, four-year deal he signed last December.
Rangers owner Ray Davis and general manager Chris Young have indicated the team hopes to add more to their starting rotation this offseason.
The 31-year-old Pérez is 75-77 with a 4.43 ERA over 11 big league seasons with Texas, Boston and Minnesota. He returned to the Rangers, his original team, last spring after three seasons away.
Texas initially signed Pérez as a 16-year-old international free agent out of Venezuela in July 2007, and he made his big-league debut in 2012. After his first seven MLB seasons with the Rangers, Perez went to Minnesota in free agency for the 2019 season and then pitched in Boston for two years.
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