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Left-hander Pérez, Pirates finalize one-year contract

Martin Perez Texas Rangers Martin Perez - The Canadian Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Martín Pérez and the Pittsburgh Pirates finalized their $8 million, one-year contract on Friday.

The 32-year-old left-hander, who won the World Series with Texas in November, agreed to the deal in mid-December subject to a successful physical.

Right-hander Max Kranick was designated for assignment to open a roster spot.

Pérez went 10-4 for the Rangers last season with a 4.45 ERA in 35 games, 20 of them starts. He moved from the rotation to the bullpen in August and made three relief appearances in the playoffs — all in mop-up duty — as Texas won its first World Series title. His salary is less than half the $19.65 million he earned last year after accepting the Rangers’ qualifying offer.

The Pirates are trying to build rotation depth in the minors but it remains a work in progress, one of the reasons they have looked outside the organization for help at the big league level.

Pérez is 85-81 with a 4.44 ERA in 12 major league seasons with Texas (2012-18, ’22-23), Minnesota (2019) and Boston (2020-21). He was an All-Star in 2022, when he finished 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA.

The arrival of Pérez and Marco Gonzales gives the Pirates a couple of experienced arms to pair with Mitch Keller, an All-Star for the first time in 2023. Other pitchers who could fit into the 2024 rotation are Quinn Priester, Roansy Contreras, Bailey Falter, Andre Jackson and Luis Ortiz, with 2023 top overall draft pick Paul Skenes likely getting a chance to see how ready he is during spring training.

JT Brubaker, Pittsburgh’s opening-day starter in 2022, could also be back after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Gonzales was traded to Atlanta by Seattle on Dec. 3, and the Mariners agreed to send the Braves $4.5 million next Aug. 1. That means Gonzales will in effect cost the Braves $4.75 million, the Mariners $4.5 million and the Pirates $2.75 million.