Things are not looking good for Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon. The prosecutor told the Associated Press that the evidence supports an involuntary manslaughter charge:
“The version that we have is that there was a dispute between two women and [Simon] tried to dissolve it, fired a shot that ended up wounding a young person in the arm and that same bullet lodged in the chest of the deceased.”
Simon’s lawyer says it happened differently: he says that a bunch of people were firing guns into the air, that Simon had no idea that a bullet hit anyone, and that the police have singled him out.
I don’t know a thing about the legal system in the Dominican Republic, but if the prosecution has a theory like that — and if ballistic tests don’t show the bullet to have come from someone else’s gun — it would not be unreasonable to assume that Simon will be either in jail or at least charged and unable to leave the country for some time and that a trial will take place in which the fired-at-someone vs. the fired-in-the-air stories would be go head-to-head.
Mostly, though, we have to realize that we don’t know much of anything.
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.