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Tuesday newsletter time: Two more lefties (one an ex-player) leave Rangers

(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)



Chris Young said last week that the Rangers are actively seeking starting pitchers, and at the time that included left-hander Martin Perez.

The 2022 All-Star was a free agent, and Young said that the door was open for his possible return to a rotation that was suddenly shorter on innings with Max Scherzer dealing with back surgery.

Perez reportedly closed the door Monday, agreeing to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Pirates.

He turns 33 on April 4 and still wants to cash in on a multi-year deal before his career ends. The Pirates could provide him with 30-plus starts to re-establish his value and could possibly flip him to a contender should they again continue to be in rebuild mode.

Pittsburgh, though, was better in 2023 and hopes to see its young talent continue to develop. The Pirates have yet to sell off any of their key pieces this offseason, so maybe their plan is to give things a go in the National League Central.

Perez leaves the Rangers a world champion. He has more than 10 years’ service time, so he brings value as a veteran, and he’s as professional as a player comes. The younger Pirates could learn a thing or two from him, and the veterans might be able to learn something, too.

I’ve known Perez since he was 17, so I’m going to miss him. The Pirates visit Globe Life Field in August for a three-game series. He should get a nice round of applause when presented with his World Series ring.

Perez is the fourth player on the postseason roster who as left via free agency, joining left Will Smith, right-hander Chris Stratton and catcher Austin Hedges.

Nitkowski to Braves

When the Rangers had a day off during the past seven seasons, C.J. Nitkowski would find a flight home to spend time with his family in Atlanta. He’d be back in time for the next series, but as the kids got older, including two who went off to college, the grind became more difficult.

So, the Rangers didn’t stand in his way when he pursued a broadcasting job with the Braves, and he accepted the position Monday.

“Due to his family wishing to stay in Atlanta, he has been away from home for more than 130 days each of the last seven years while doing Rangers’ games, and I know that had become more challenging every season,” Rangers executive vice president John Blake said. “When he and the Braves reached out to us about allowing him to pursue this opportunity, we felt it was certainly the right thing to do to release him from his contract.”

Nitkowski, a left-hander who briefly pitched for the Rangers during his career, brought an analytical look at the game to broadcasts, but he also could easily make sense of what a manager might be thinking in taking out a pitcher or not trying to steal a base or giving an umpire a piece of his mind.

The Rangers haven’t decided how they will fill Nitkowski’s vacancy, but finding a regular replacement or using existing analysts such as David Murphy and Dave Valle are options. Blake said he hopes to have a plan in January.


Rangers Today is on a semi-vacation to the great state of Colorado, so we’re dialing back a little bit for a few days. Basically, I’ll write when I can’t stand not writing anymore. Took me all of one day. But because there wasn’t a Monday newsletter, ICYMI is appearing in a different. Here’s our latest content, in case you missed it (take advantage of the first one).


The Sunday Read: Bullpen possibilities

Max Scherzer out until summer

T.R.’s Memoirs: Beltre to the Hall

Doggy video!

Riding first class. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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  1. deGrom Texas Ranger December 19, 2023

    I will miss CJ. I feel bad that they don’t let our announcers comment on playoff games. CJ > John Smoltz
    Now, the Perez news is the best news of the offseason! Good riddance!

    1. Jeff Wilson December 22, 2023

      Agree with C.J. Thumbs down to Perez.

  2. deGrom Texas Ranger December 19, 2023

    CJ will be missed.

  3. A Stephens December 19, 2023

    Particularly liked the CJ /Dave Raymond chemistry. Little clumsy in the beginning but they’ve really worked well together for a long time since.
    I’d think Dave Valle would be good but hopefully we’ll just be able to watch any home broadcasts at all this year.

    1. Jeff Wilson December 22, 2023

      The best TV scenario for the fans is Diamond surrendering/MLB taking over. Not sure that’s best for the club.

  4. Monty W December 20, 2023

    I wasn’t the biggest CJ & Dave fan when they first teamed up together but they grew on me. I enjoyed the chemistry they had and laughed along with some of their dumb jokes. They got better as the team got better. Or maybe I enjoyed them more when the team was winning. Either way I wish CJ well. Hopefully Jonah will hit a runner in the back and we’ll see the runner interference call made just for CJ.

    1. Jeff Wilson December 22, 2023

      I like both guys. They grew together. I disagree with the writer/activist notion that C.J. is far-right/racist. He’s a good person. There’s no way anyone who has spent his life in baseball is racist. It’s dumb on its face, but too many people believe it.

      1. A Stephens January 1, 2024

        Idiots post what’s in their idiotic minds. It’s the major reason I’ve dropped every blog/fansite from my rotation except this one, including a couple I was on pretty much from their inceptions 20+ years ago.

        I come to baseball to tune out the noise and enjoy the game in front of us. It’s a shame what being a “fan” has become.

        1. Jeff Wilson January 1, 2024

          I appreciate that. There are writers who I probably should follow but can’t because they pander to readers and try to play gotcha. That doesn’t happen here.


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