Rangers will try to lock up Cliff Lee this offseason

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New Rangers CEO and minority owner Chuck Greenberg has made it known that his club will do all it can to lock up left-hander Cliff Lee in the offseason.  This according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth-Star Telegram.

Of course, even if the Rangers don’t think they have a shot at pulling it off, Greenberg might as well preach the idea all summer and into the fall.  The Yankees are known to have their eyes on Lee and tend to outbid the competition when they truly find a guy that they want.  Then there are the other 28 teams that would love to add an ace left-hander.

Lee, 31, has posted a 10-5 record, a 2.44 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 19 starts this season between Seattle and Texas.  He has racked up 126 strikeouts and walked only nine batters.  And two of those were intentional walks.  The guy is going to be this offseason’s big winner.

“Let’s see what happens,” Lee told the Star-Telegram on Saturday. “There’s a lot can happen between now and then,
but, yeah, it’s nice to be wanted.  I’ve got to take care of what I
need to take care of between now and then. I have to help this team get
to the postseason and the World Series. That’s the ultimate goal. I’m
not too worried about the other stuff.”

The Rangers have a healthy nine-game first-place lead in the American League West thanks to a 64-46 record.  They’re headed for their first playoff appearance since 1999.

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.