MLB News: Rangers Want 'Difference-Making' Return For Martin Perez

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Tristin McKinstry

The Texas Rangers spent a ton in the offseason to bring in legit superstar talent to the Lone Star State. However, it's one of their more low-key signings that has turned heads in 2022.

Left-handed pitcher Martin Perez is currently in the midst of a career year. Coming over from the Boston Red Sox, the 31-year-old has looked better than he ever has. And while the Rangers are outside postseason contention, they may not part with their veteran southpaw hurler.

Wanting Progress

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ESPN insider Buster Olney recently took to Twitter and shared an interesting tidbit regarding the Rangers' thought process behind potentially moving on from Perez.

"There is a lot of speculation about the Rangers dealing Martin Perez, but they'll probably only move him if they get something difference-making in return. Otherwise, they'll look for continued 2022 improvement. Went 60-102 in '21, on pace to win 77 games this year," Olney tweeted.

It's an intriguing thought that the Rangers may value holding onto the veteran pitcher as opposed to trading him. On one hand, Perez is signed to a very team-friendly contract. And he is vastly outperforming the deal.

However, progress is important for a team in Texas' position. Even if this isn't the exact type of progress the team expected to see back in March.

A Dream Return

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This is not Perez's first foray with the Rangers. Texas signed the left-hander as an undrafted free agent in 2007 and made his debut with the team in 2012.

However, Perez hasn't had the best go of it in the majors. He finished sixth in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2013, but that season was the only season his ERA was under 4.00 in his career.

After spending time with the Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, the 31-year-old returned to where it all started. In 2022, he's pitched to a 7-2 record with a 2.34 ERA, 81 strikeouts to 25 walks, and a 1.17 WHIP.

Martin Perez: All-Star?

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Voting for the MLB All-Star Game is nearing its conclusion, and it seems as if Perez has earned his ticket to the Midsummer Classic in some form or fashion. His manager certainly agrees.

“I’m very, very biased,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “But yes, I mean anybody who looks at his numbers can obviously make a simple argument for [an All-Star nod]. He definitely deserves it.”

'This Is Really Good'

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Perez's success was always expected. He was one of the team's top prospects around the time he was called up in 2012. And while the team would have loved for this to happen earlier, they and Perez will take this nonetheless. The 31-year-old is certainly motivated to keep things up.

“You have to make adjustments, no matter what,” Pérez said back in June. “To come here and be back home and doing what I'm doing, this is really good. Not big just for me, but for the team. I just gotta go out there and do my best for everybody. I’m just trying to not lose my focus just on my game, throw the pitches where I want them, and I’m gonna get the results.”