After a season-and-a-half as a bench player in Colorado the assumption was that Jason Giambi would go elsewhere this offseason in search of more playing time, but today he re-signed with the Rockies on a minor-league contract.
Last winter Giambi got a guaranteed deal worth $1.75 million, but this time around he won’t have a 40-man roster spot heading into spring training. Between that and the lack of a role for him in Colorado playing behind another left-handed hitter in Todd Helton there was obviously very little interest in Giambi as a free agent.
Giambi still has excellent on-base skills, but most of his power has vanished at age 40 and he’s hit just .217 over the past two seasons. He received 222 plate appearances last year and unless Helton goes down with a significant injury similar playing time is likely for 2011. If he makes the team, of course.
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.