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Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez officially accepted the team's one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer on Tuesday, according to a source. The 31-year-old veteran southpaw's 2022 season was one of the bigger surprises among starting pitchers. He went 12-8 and made the All-Star team for the first time in his 11th major-league season. Perez had a career-best 2.89 ERA (3.26 FIP), a 1.26 WHIP, a career-high 169 strikeouts and 69 walks in 196 1/3 innings over his 32 starts in his first season with the Rangers. Whether he can do it for a second season in a row is another story. Perez has a career 4.43 ERA (4.35 FIP), a 1.45 WHIP and a 909:470 K:BB in 1,299 innings over 253 appearances (223 starts).
Per a tweet from MLB Network's Jon Morosi on Monday, starting pitcher Martin Perez is reportedly likely to accept the Texas Rangers' qualifying offer. Morosi tweeted on Monday morning: "Source: LHP Martin P rez is likely to accept the Rangers' Qualifying Offer by tomorrow's deadline, barring a change in his marketplace over the next 24 hours. @MLBNetwork @MLB." The 31-year-old left-hander made 32 starts for Texas during the 2022 campaign, throwing 196.1 innings and turning in his best Major League season to date. The veteran pitched to a 2.89 ERA and a 3.27 FIP in those 196.1 innings. He also struck out 169 batters compared to just 69 walks. Elsewhere, he logged 12 pitcher wins in his 32 starts. The ERA, FIP, and strikeouts all represented career bests for Perez.
The Texas Rangers acquired right-hander Jake Odorizzi and cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday in exchange for left-hander Kolby Allard. Odorizzi began the 2022 season with the Houston Astros and was traded to the Braves in August. He finished the year 6-6 with a combined 4.40 ERA (4.28 FIP), a 1.33 WHIP, 86 strikeouts and 35 walks in 106 1/3 total innings over 22 starts. The 32-year-old wasn't as good in Atlanta, going 2-3 with a 5.24 ERA (5.14 FIP), a 1.55 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 46 1/3 frames over 10 starts. Odorizzi should be guaranteed a rotation spot in Texas to open the 2023 season, but he'll have to pitch much better to be anything more than a back-end fantasy starter in deeper leagues.
Texas Rangers relief pitcher Joe Barlow (wrist) had surgery on Friday to separate a pair of fused tendons in his right wrist that were believed to have contributed to a blister issue. Barlow should be ready for spring training next year. The 27-year-old right-hander served as the team's closer in the first half of the season and finished his second big-league season with a 3.86 ERA (4.83 FIP), a 1.14 WHIP, 13 saves and 28 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched over 35 relief appearances. He was eventually demoted from the ninth-inning role and landed on the injured list in July. Barlow should remain at least a setup man in the Rangers bullpen in 2023.
Texas Rangers outfield prospect Aaron Zavala (elbow) had elbow surgery last week, undergoing a brace procedure instead of Tommy John surgery. Zavala is expected to be ready to go in May. The team's No. 11 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, made his way to Double-A Frisco this year and finished with a .277/.410/.482 slash line with an .892 OPS, five home runs, 21 RBI, 28 runs scored and four stolen bases in 30 games. The 22-year-old won't be ready for spring training next year, but barring any setbacks, he won't miss too much of the start of the 2023 minor-league season. Zavala has advanced bat-to-ball skills and a short, compact left-handed swing that will hopefully develop more power as he matures physically.