The first stage of MLB free agency involves teams from around the league making qualifying offers to players who they want to be compensated for if they depart in free agency. It’s typically used on the top players available, because the offer is a one year contract worth a decent amount of money. While it’s often not accepted, it sounds like Martin Perez could accept his qualifying offer from the Texas Rangers.

Perez is coming off a career year with the Rangers in which he posted a 2.89 ERA over 32 starts and earned his first career All Star selection. Perez was phenomenal last season, and Texas made the risky decision to extend him a qualifying offer since Perez had never pitched that well earlier in his career. And unless something changes for Perez soon, it sounds like he will be accepting the Rangers offer.

Via Jon Morosi:

“Source: LHP Martin Pérez is likely to accept the Rangers’ Qualifying Offer by tomorrow’s deadline, barring a change in his marketplace over the next 24 hours.”

If Perez does indeed end up accepting, he will ink a one-year, $19.65 million deal with the Rangers. Perez was easily the Rangers best starter last season, and while they likely didn’t want to hand him a long-term extension considering the fact that he will be 32 next season and has come nowhere close to pitching like he did last season earlier in his career, handing him a qualifying offer made sense.

There’s a chance that Perez will come back down to earth next season, which is why this deal is a big risk for the Rangers. But they need pitching, and letting their best starter from last season leave for free didn’t make a ton of sense. So while nothing is official yet, it seems like Perez is nearing a return to Texas.