Reports: Texas Rangers bring back veteran left-hander Martin Perez for 2nd stint

Veteran left-hander Martin Perez has reached an agreement on a one-year, $4 million contract for a reunion with the Texas Rangers, according to multiple reports.

The Friday deal, which is pending a physical, was first reported by The Athletic.

Texas initially signed Perez 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 for Boston the past two years.

The deal came on the first day after the MLB lockout for the Rangers, who after 102 losses last season spent an astounding $561.2 million in free agency on four players just before the 99-day shutdown began Dec. 2. That included a half-billion dollars for middle infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.

Along with signing All-Star shortstop Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and Gold Glove second baseman Semien ($175 million, seven years), the Rangers completed pre-lockout deals with starting pitcher Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) and outfielder Kole Calhoun ($5.2 million, one year). Those newcomers were introduced Dec. 1.

Gray and right-hander Dane Dunning, a former first-round pick by Washington acquired when the Rangers traded Lance Lynn to the Chicago White Sox in December 2020, appear to be the only starters guaranteed spots in their rotation.

Perez, who will turn 31 only days before the regular season opens for Texas on April 8, has started 191 of his 221 career games in the majors. He started 22 games and relieved in 14 others last season for the Red Sox while going 7-8 with a 4.74 ERA.

The lefty was 43-49 with a 4.63 ERA in 141 games (128) over seven big-league seasons with the Rangers. He threw a career-high 198⅔ innings while going 10-11 in a career-high 33 starts in 2016 for Texas, then set a career high for wins the next year when he was 13-12 with a 4.82 ERA in 32 starts.

He was 10-7 with a 5.12 ERA in his only season for the Twins before going to Boston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.