Indians to name Acta as next manager

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Jon Heyman of SI.com reports the Indians will name Manny Acta as their next manager.



According to the
Associated Press, team spokesman Bart Swain said Acta has signed a three-year contract with a club option for 2013. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Acta was fired by the Nationals in July after going 26-61. He was 158-252 during his tenure in Washington. Acta reportedly turned down an offer for the Astros’ managerial vacancy. The Indians chose Acta over Bobby Valentine and Indians Triple-A manager Torey Lovullo, who were also under consideration the position. He inherits a team that went a disappointing 65-97 under Eric Wedge in 2009.

Hopefully Acta will eventually get a fair shake to manage a quality ballclub in Cleveland, as it was hard to get a feel of his skills with such an awful team in Washington. As for Astros fans, it’s beginning to like Phil Garner could be back.

Reds ink Oliver Perez to a minor-league deal

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The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.

Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.

While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.