Martín Pérez Red Sox Deal For 2021 (www.mlb.com)

It looked like Martín Pérez was going to be one-and-done with the Red Sox when the club declined his $6.25 million option on Nov. 1.
But the lefty starter is on the verge of returning to the Red Sox, as a source told MLB.com that the sides are close to

It looked like

was going to be one-and-done with the Red Sox when the club declined his $6.25 million option on Nov. 1.

But the lefty starter is on the verge of returning to the Red Sox, as a source told MLB.com that the sides are close to a new one-year agreement that includes a club option for 2022.

A source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that Pérez will earn $4.5 million in 2021 with a $6 million option ($500,000 buyout), so he’ll be guaranteed $5 million. The deal is pending a physical, per the source.

Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic was first to report that the Red Sox and Pérez were closing in on a new contract. The club has not confirmed the deal.

Though 2020 was a tough one for the Red Sox, Pérez expressed his enthusiasm for Boston and was open about his desire to remain with the Sox throughout the season.

In a depleted Boston rotation, Pérez was the only pitcher to make all 12 of his starts in the shortened 60-game season. He went 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA. His ERA was bloated by a shellacking he took in his final start of the season, but he did his job for the most part. In fact, Pérez allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of those 12 starts.

The news of the near-agreement with Pérez comes the day after the Red Sox lost an intriguing target in two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal with the rival Yankees.

Upgrading the rotation remains the top priority of Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom this offseason. The expectation is that Bloom will continue to search for pitching for the middle to upper part of the rotation. Righty Jake Odorizzi is one intriguing pitcher who remains a free agent.

Pérez is more of a depth piece who can fill out the rotation. Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez, Pérez and Nick Pivetta are among the current pitchers expected to try to hold down the fort until ace Chris Sale returns from Tommy John surgery around midseason.

Prospect Tanner Houck, who was brilliant in three late-season starts, could also be in the mix. Righty swingman Matt Andriese, signed last month, is another option for manager Alex Cora.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.



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