Texas Rangers start process of bringing back key piece for 2023

Aug 14, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (54) in action during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 14, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (54) in action during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Martin Perez proved that you can go home again in his reunion with the Texas Rangers.

After spending the first seven years of his career in Texas, Perez had departed for greener pastures, pitching for the Twins and Red Sox. He returned in 2022, signing a one year deal worth $4 million as the Rangers looked to add pieces to a patchwork rotation.

Texas Rangers looking to keep Martin Perez

While there were some questions as to why the Rangers were bringing Perez back in the first place, that deal worked out for both sides. He made his first All Star Game last year, posting a 2.89 ERA and a 1.258 WHiP over his 196.1 innings, striking out 169 batters with 69 walks. Perez showed that he could be more than a back of the rotation arm and may even be a pitcher that the Rangers can build their staff around.

For his part, Perez wants to stay. He had indicated as such before the trade deadline and ultimately remained in Texas. Now, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are set to meet with Perez and his representatives next week in an attempt to hammer out an agreement.

The Rangers could certainly use Perez. Their rotation is still in flux, with Jon Gray as the only true given at this point. Perez would certainly help solidify the staff, but even if he does return, the Rangers will need to add more arms if they hope to contend in 2023.

Perez is also going to be far more expensive than he was last year.  As the Rangers already have $84.2 million committed to just four players for 2023, and plenty of work to be done to the roster, it could come down to how high of a payroll ownership is willing to greenlight.

It is also fair to wonder how long he will be able to perform at that level. Perez will turn 32 years old at the beginning of the 2023 campaign and just turned in the best season of his career. While he could have a late career renaissance, it is also possible that this was a one year aberration.

That is what the Rangers are going to have to determine. A slight regression would mean that Perez is still a valuable piece as a third or fourth starter, but if he reverts to his career norms, they could be spending a decent amount on essentially a league average arm. Perez is a gamble, but ultimately, he may be one they will have to take.

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The Texas Rangers are hoping to bring Martin Perez back for 2023 and beyond. It is a gamble, but it is also one they need to take.